Opportunity is knocking and while John Derus hasn’t yet opened the door, he’s listening.
The former Hennepin County Board Chair, a powerhouse on the commission for 17 years, said Thursday that he’s thinking about jumping into the race for the County Board seat being vacated by outgoing Commissioner Mark Stenglein.
Redistricting has taken Derus, who lives in north Minneapolis, out of the First District represented by Board Chair Mike Opat – the man who unseated Derus 20 years ago in an upset – and put him into Stenglein’s Second District, which now includes all of the North Side.
Derus, 72, is an executive with Running Aces Harness Park in Anoka County.
Seven candidates plan to run for the seat, including five who have filed this week. Derus has until June 5, when filing closes, to decide. The primary election, which will narrow the field to two, is Aug. 14.
“I have received some support from prominent people who have asked me” to run, Derus said. “I’m thinking of it.”
If Derus gets into the race, it would set up a rematch with state Sen. Linda Higgins, who captured the DFL endorsement for the county board seat last weekend. Higgins narrowly defeated Derus for the Senate in 1996, a race that Derus said he lost because the Star Tribune mistakenly published his picture with an unrelated story on charity fraud.
Derus has DFL and labor ties, although he has run before without party endorsement.
Besides Higgins, candidates who have filed for the job are Leslie Davis, a perennial candidate who ran for govenor in the 2010 Republican primary; Steve Dehler, a Hennepin County correctional officer and former Republican legislator who is running as an independent; small-business owner Tonia Johnson, a DFLer who says she's running as an independent Democrat; and DFLer Blong Yang, an attorney and investigator for the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department.
Other declared candidates are Golden Valley City Council Member Paula Pentel, an independent, and DFLer Don Samuels of the Minneapolis City Council.
More from Star Tribune
More from MPLS.
A pair of fire stations on the city's North and South sides will host a gun turn-in program seeking to take hundreds of guns off the streets and turn them into works of art, city officials and the nonprofit group Pillsbury United Communities announced this week.
A Minneapolis police officer disarmed and arrested a man who allegedly pointed a gun at another man during a fight that broke out outside a downtown police station on Monday, authorities said.
Minneapolis police officials on Monday denied charges that their officers were ordered to "stand down" during protests last week outside a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that produced a few tense moments, but no arrests.
A 20-year-old Brooklyn Park man has been charged with second-degree assault in the shooting of a 13-year-old girl in north Minneapolis' Camden neighborhood earlier this month, authorities said.
Four years after Minneapolis' plans to blow up downtown's Peavey Plaza ran into a historic preservation roadblock, city officials are ready for a new approach.
Recommended For You
Obliging a donor is not necessarily criminal, but if you're in a role that would seem to call for the utmost care in avoiding the perception of favoritism …
When U.S. Bank Stadium plays host to its first Vikings game Sunday, Adrian Peterson will be in street clothes watching most of his fellow starters get their final preseason tune-up.
Hillary Clinton vigorously defended her family's foundation against Donald Trump's sniping on Friday and declared she's confident there will be no new blockbuster accusations on the foundation, her emails or anything else that could undermine her chances of defeating him in November.
Natalie Maines & Co. play to 30,000 fans at the grandstand, with or without forgiveness.
Hillary Clinton said Thursday that Donald Trump has unleashed the "radical fringe" within the Republican Party, including anti-Semites and white supremacists, dubbing the billionaire businessman's campaign as one that will "make America hate again."