Jerry Arnold – A good Republican, RIP

Here’s his obituary:

I think the first time I met Jerry was a little before I gave a horrific speech at the Radison Hotel in Duluth in 1972 or 73. A couple of friends and I stopped in the hotel’s bar and Jerry was there. One of my College Republican pals began jawing with Jerry who was a vocal Republican in DFL Duluth. After we left my friend told me how Jerry was brilliant in saving him over some legal scrape.

I wouldn’t meet Jerry again until 1976 when I ambitiously ran against Mike Jaros and got a meager 32% of the vote. The next election year, 1978, Jerry showed me how to silk screen lawnsigns and came over to my home in Western Duluth, off of Piedmont Avenue and we began printing them out. There were so many my yard wouldn’t hold them and I started laying them out in our neighbor’s adjoining yard. I did so without asking them and looked up in horror to see them scowling down at me. That’s when I noticed Jerry’s short fingers on one hand. I’ve never wanted to use a snow blower since that time.

Jerry ran for Congress against Jim Oberstar in 1974 hoping that a nasty split in the DFL could win him a miracle race. It wasn’t enough. Later he saddled up with Ronald Reagan and Senator Rudy Boschwitz. The later didn’t recommend him for a post he pined for but he stayed a loyal Republican ever so close to the inside.

He had wit and good humor but I’d have hated to face him in court. I didn’t know him so well that I can relate a million stories about him but if his kids are anything like their Dad I’m sure I’ll hear some good ones at his funeral on Wednesday.

Rest in Peace, Jerry.

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