DULUTH — A former Duluth school board member is challenging state Rep. Liz Olson for the House seat representing West Duluth.
Art Johnston announced his candidacy for District 7B on Friday and said he would represent “one special interest in the Minnesota Legislature: all of West Duluth.”
“I have a proven history in Duluth of taking on the tyranny of out-of-touch bureaucracies,” he said in a campaign announcement.
Johnston, 68, was first elected to the school board in 2009 and lost his re-election bid in 2017.
He said he wants to work to freeze property taxes and cut the sales tax as well as offer greater support for manufacturing and mining jobs.
He also vowed to stop a proposed gas tax increase and restrict special taxing authority for Duluth Public Schools.
Johnston describes himself as “kind of all over the board politically:” a libertarian on social issues and fiscal watchdog, he said in an interview.
Whether he runs as an independent, Republican or third party, Johnston said: “I haven’t been endorsed by anybody at this point.”
Olson, the DFL majority whip, first won the seat in 2016. She won re-election in 2018 with 71 percent of the vote.