The race to replace St. Paul City Council Member Russ Stark has begun.

Amy Ireland, an attorney who lives in St. Paul's Hamline-Midway neighborhood, launched her campaign Monday. She is the first to declare a run for Stark's Fourth Ward seat after the former council president announced his move to a position in Mayor Melvin Carter's office late last month.

The Fourth Ward includes Hamline-Midway, Merriam Park, St. Anthony Park and parts of the Mac-Groveland and Como neighborhoods. It's also blocks away from the site of the Minnesota United soccer stadium, which is under construction.

Ireland, who's served on various city and neighborhood committees during her nearly 30 years in St. Paul, said she'll bring that experience to the council.

"I think we need people on the policy side who have done work with individuals and have done work in the community and have connections at the grass-roots level to take what people need and want to that next level," she said.

Ireland previously worked for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and was an immigration lawyer for more than a decade. She graduated from Macalester College and the University of Minnesota Law School.

Stark represented the Fourth Ward for 10 years and will serve as chief resilience officer in Carter's office. His last day on the council is Feb. 16.

An interim council member will fill the Fourth Ward seat until the Aug. 14 election. Council members are scheduled to interview six interim council candidates Tuesday afternoon.

Emma Nelson • 612-673-4509