House 3B challenger questions value of Hermantown lawmaker’s lengthy tenure
Candidates disagreed during a forum Tuesday about whether term limits are a good idea.
DULUTH — Minnesota House District 3B Rep. Mary Murphy, DFL-Hermantown, is the longest-serving legislator still in office, and her Republican challenger, Natalie Zeleznikar, of Duluth, doesn’t view that as much of a plus.
“Last election cycle, Mary asked for your vote one more time, and it has led to 46 years,” Zeleznikar said at candidate forum Tuesday hosted by the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce and Duluth News Tribune. “I’m all for term limits,” she said, pledging to serve no longer than 10 years if elected to office.
Murphy questioned Zeliznikar’s assertion that she had sought only one more term last election and defended her decision to run again, noting that Northeastern Minnesota already was losing 76 years of legislative experience with the departures of Rep. Jen Schultz, Sen. Tom Bakk, Mike Sundin and the death of Sen. David Tomassoni.
“Do we want to add another 46 years of experience to that?” she asked. “Let me tell you, experience counts and seniority counts in the Legislature.”
“I love the job. I do a good job, and I’m willing to work for every single minute of each day that’s necessary to get the right answers,” said Murphy, a retired teacher of 36 years.