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Almost 1,000 signatures collected in effort to recall northeast Minnesota mayor

The city attorney in March said Mayor Chris Swanson repeatedly used his official city position “for personal benefit or business interests.”

A bearded man wears "Resign or Recall" signs pinned to the front and back of his hat during a city council meeting.
Tom Koehler, of Two Harbors, wears "Resign or Recall" signs pinned to the front and back of his hat during a March meeting of the Two Harbors City Council. Koehler is part of an effort urging Mayor Chris Swanson to resign or face a recall election.
Jimmy Lovrien / Duluth News Tribune
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TWO HARBORS, Minn. — The group trying to recall Mayor Chris Swanson delivered almost 1,000 signatures to City Hall on Wednesday morning.

The Resign or Recall Committee said it had 997 residents sign its petition calling for a recall of Swanson, more than double the almost 450 signatures — 20% of the city's registered voters — required for the petition to move forward.

City staff have 10 days to verify each resident's signature and address. After that, a proposed ordinance is sent to the City Council, which must then take action. If Swanson does not resign in five days, the council must schedule a recall election where a "yes" or "no" question would ask if Swanson should be recalled.

If a majority of voters mark "yes," the council must then fill the position with an appointment because there would be more than two years until Swanson's term expires in January 2025.

Because it is a redistricting year, the August primary is the earliest the recall question could appear on a ballot.


Recall efforts were spurred by Swanson's underwater hotel and cryptocurrency pursuits and other potential conflicts of interest and ethical concerns coming to light.

In a memorandum of opinion, City Attorney Tim Costley wrote that Swanson repeatedly used his official city position “for personal benefit or business interests” on a number of issues, the News Tribune reported last month .

Earlier this month, Swanson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he has no plans to resign.

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