Don Ness

City of Duluth

In October, Ness made his long-awaited decision: He will not be running for a third term in 2015. Since his election as his hometown’s chief executive in 2007, Ness has become the symbol of his city. The image he has presented is one of energy, accessibility and a willingness to buck old cultural habits that had kept the city bound in rusty chains. He brought his beloved city back from the brink of bankruptcy and attracted new, good-paying employers. Duluth will need his continued leadership—whatever form it soon may take.