David Bolgrien

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David Bolgrien
David Bolgrien.jpg
Candidate for
Board Member, Duluth School Board, District 4
Elections and appointments
Next generalNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Ph.D.University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
ProfessionResearch biologist
Campaign website
David Bolgrien campaign logo
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
David Bolgrien is a candidate for the District 4 seat on the Duluth school board. Bolgrien received enough votes in the September 10 primary election to continue on to the general election on November 5, 2013.


David Bolgrien resides in Duluth, Minnesota. Bolgrien earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and is employed as a research biologist by the Environmental Protection Agency.[1] He volunteers at Laura MacArthur and Lincoln Park elementary schools and Denfeld High School.[2]



See also: Duluth Public Schools elections (2013)


David Bolgrien is challenging incumbent Art Johnston to win the District 4 seat in the general election on November 5, 2013. Johnston and Bolgrien defeated Justin Perpich in the September 10 primary election to continue on to the general election.

Duluth Public Schools, District 4 General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Bolgrien 37.6% 463
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngArt Johnston Incumbent 33.4% 411
     Nonpartisan Justin Perpich 28.9% 356
Total Votes 1,230
Source: Duluth, Minnesota, "Summary Report," accessed October 24, 2013


As of October 28, no 2013 campaign donations or expenditures for David Bolgrien have been reported to the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.[3]


David Bolgrien has received endorsements for his campaign from the Duluth Federation of Teachers and the Duluth News Tribune.[2][4] Former candidate Justin Perpich endorsed Bolgrien following his defeat in the September 10 primary election.[5]

Campaign themes

In response to a survey from the Duluth News Tribune, Bolgrien argued that there is one significant issue facing the school district:[1]

We must increase student achievement. Success is measured by increased enrollment, graduation rates, test scores and school rankings. Underperforming students must be made proficient. High-performing students must be continually challenged. Our graduates must be competitive in college, employment and life. This will help win back students to the district.

What's at stake?

There are four seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. The only incumbent who filed for re-election was District 4 member Art Johnston, who is facing challenger David Bolgrien and and who defeated Justin Perpich in the primary. District 1 incumbent Ann Wasson did not file for the election, leaving her seat vacant to Joseph Matthes or Rosie Loeffler-Kemp, both of whom defeated Marcia Stromgren in the primary. Neither at-large members Mary Cameron or Tom Kasper are running for re-election, so two newcomers will win their seats. Neither Joshua Bixby nor Loren Martell received enough votes to proceed to the general election, where Annie Harala, Henry L. Banks, Harry Welty and Nancy Nilsen will compete for the seats.

About the district

See also: Duluth Public Schools, Minnesota
Duluth Public Schools is located in St. Louis County, Minnesota
Duluth Public Schools is located in St. Louis County, Minnesota. The county seat of St. Louis County is Duluth. According to the 2010 US Census, St. Louis County is home to 200,319 residents.[6]


St. Louis County underperformed the rest of Minnesota in terms of its median rates of average household income, poverty rate and higher education achievement in 2011. The median household income in St. Louis County was $45,399 compared to $58,476 for the state of Minnesota. The poverty rate in St. Louis County was 16.0% compared to 11.0% for the entire state. The US Census also found that 25.5% of St. Louis County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 31.8% in Minnesota.[6]

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