Duluth elects Roger Reinert as city’s new mayor

Duluthians have elected Roger Reinert, a former state senator and representative, as their new mayor, ousting two-term incumbent Emily Larson.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS sister station WDIO reports Roger Reinert led Larson with 17,518 votes to 11,716 with 100% of precincts reporting.

Larson conceded to Reinert following the election on Tuesday night, saying, “I called Roger and sincerely wished him well. Although we ran against one another and competed over our ideas, Duluth needs him to succeed, I truly hope he does and I will work to offer a graceful transition to the benefit of community.”

The 53-year-old Reinert previously served on the Duluth City Council – he was elected in 2004 and served as council president twice. He then went on to serve in the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate.

Reinert has served as a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, is a licensed attorney, owns a consulting firm, and teaches at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth.

“Whether you supported me or whether you didn’t, I am still a Mayor for this entire community,” said Reinert to the crowd at his watch party at Clyde Iron Works. “What I love tonight is that I can look and I can see someone more to the right, I can see someone more to the left and I see a whole bunch of people in the middle that I don’t where they’re at and that is what I’ve always been about.”

Reinert says he plans to move forward by focusing on the five big issues he discussed on the campaign trail. “They’re the things that people said, ‘This is what I pay taxes for and where I want to see the city do better.’ So as we get into setting up the new administration, we’ll be aligning our leadership and our structure around that,” Reinert said.