Category: Politicians

Don Samuels, Minneapolis City Council

Don Samuels represents the 5th Ward on Minneapolis’ City Council.  He was born in Jamaica where his father pastored congregations in poor Jamaican communities.  He immigrated to the US in 1970 studying and working in industrial design.  Volunteering in churches led him to enroll at Luther Seminar in St. Paul where he graduated in 2001 with an M.Div. degree.  He was first elected to the City Council in 2003 and re-elected in 2005. Don caught a fair amount of flack for saying he believed public schools had failed African American boys in particular, colorfully quoted as “I’ve said burn North High School down!”  He also gained some admirers who felt his criticism a fair take on the situation if not a call to action.  The controversy did not prevent him from winning a third term on the Council in 2009.

Dave Shultz – Attorney

Dave Schultz is an old friend.  A partner at the Maslon law firm and running for Ramsey County Attorney.  He is running against, among others, another old friend of mine, John Choi who has been previously featured in Faces of Minnesota.  Dave is a superb lawyer and would make an excellent County Attorney.  It is really nice to see an election where we have so many, not just well qualified, but excellently qualified candidates.  Something of an embarrassment of riches!   Dave is on the campaign trail here, marching in the Grand Old Day parade.   He had quite a bunch of volunteers with him.

Sen. John M. Herrington

John Harrington is the outgoing Chief of Police in St. Paul.  He has been on the force for nearly 30 years, working his way up through the ranks.  He has been Chief since 2004.  The general consensus is that he has been a good Chief and I, for one, was surprised when he did not seek another term.  He is an Honorary Irish Person and I think he may have learned his policing skills at home, being the father of seven. He recently announced that he is running for the vacant the State Senate seat in District 67 as a Democrat. This is The Chief at Metro State looking back at downtown St. Paul, a city that, I have to say, has been well served by his work in community policing and his tenure as Chief. UPDATE:  John won his bid and now represents District 67 in the Minnesota State Senate.

Mark Ireland – Attoreny/Judge

It’s an old story, politicians kissing babies - but Mark came by this baby honestly, she’s his daughter. I’ve know Mark for several years now since we worked on a campaign together.  When I first met him, he was with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office prosecuting consumer fraud cases.  He left their and joined the Housing Preservation Project where he has been working hard (for meager pay) to help people keep their houses in these trying economic times. Mark is running for the open judicial seat in Ramsey County that resulted from Judge Monahan’s retirement (I’d love to get Judge Monahan’s portrait in here!).  I wish him the best of luck (and I’m actively supporting him) because he would make a great judge. UPDATE:  Mark won the election and is now a District Court Judge for the Second Judicial District of Minnesota.  A nice article in Minnesota Lawyer about Mark.

John Choi – Ramsey County Attorney

I’ve known John since we were baby lawyers and campaign newbies. He has been for the past several years the City Attorney for the City of St. Paul.  During his tenure, the Republican National Convention took over the city and John quite ably traversed the insanity of out-of-town anarchist protesters and the insanity of out-of-town storm trooper megacops.  After a few days of craziness, the out-of-towners moved on and the city went back to normal. This is the classic American immigrant story.  John’s parents moved to the US from Korea to find a better life for their family.  They worked hard.  John did well in school, went to graduate school, has had a great career as a lawyer, lobbyist, and politician.  Someday John may be governor of the state, if not president of the country.  But most importantly, John is raising a future all-star! John is running for Ramsey County Attorney now.  I ran into him campaigning at the Hamline Midway Community Meeting and Folk Festival in Newell Park. UPDATE:  John won the election and is now the Ramsey County Attorney.