– Form­er City Council Member Noah Hobbs an­nounced Fri­day that he will run for the St. Louis County Board seat that will be va­cant next year af­ter Commis­sion­er Beth Ol­son steps down.

"I'm engaged and have been active in my neighborhood for nearly a decade," Hobbs said in a statement. "The County Board is a way for me to continue to give back through public service and continue to serve my community."

On Mon­day, Ol­son an­nounced she would not seek to be re-elected be­yond her four-year term, which ends in Jan­u­ar­y 2021. She rep­re­sents the coun­ty's Third District, which in­cludes the west­ern side of Du­luth.

Hobbs, who was Du­luth's coun­cil pres­i­dent in 2019, nar­row­ly lost his bid for a se­cond term on the city's gov­ern­ing body in last fall's e­lection­.

"A lot of the skill sets that I have both from my pro­fes­sion­al work for near­ly a dec­ade and also on the coun­cil pairs well with what the County Board does," he said Fri­day.

The 30-year-old Hobbs is a lend­ing di­rec­tor at a local hous­ing a­gen­cy. Be­cause he was run­ning for an at-large seat on the City Council, Hobbs will be cam­paign­ing to a group of voters a­bout three times small­er than last No­vem­ber's e­lec­tion.

But the work of the County Board — which gov­erns a pop­u­la­tion of 200,000, as op­posed to Du­luth's 86,000 — "is cer­tain­ly of a lar­ger scale," Hobbs said. "I think you have more lev­er­age in the coun­ty po­si­tion vs. the city. You just have ac­cess to more tools, more ser­vices."

Hobbs said his work has pre­pared him to help dive into is­sues like the o­pi­oid cri­sis, out-of-home foster care, hous­ing short­ages and eco­nom­ic de­vel­opment.