Minnesota Governor declares Tuesday ‘Sen. David Tomassoni Day,’ lawmakers celebrate Iron Ranger in St. Paul

Minnesota Governor declares Tuesday ‘Sen. David Tomassoni Day,’ lawmakers celebrate Iron Ranger in St. Paul
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 10:22 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2022 at 12:56 AM CST
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ST. PAUL, MN -- Hundreds of Minnesota lawmakers gathered in St. Paul Tuesday night to celebrate a longtime Iron Range lawmaker who plans to retire after 30 years in the state legislature.

As part of the celebration, Gov. Tim Walz also declared March 1 “Sen. David Tomassoni Day” in the state of Minnesota.

Sen. David Tomassoni
Sen. David Tomassoni(KBJR 6/CBS 3)

Tomassoni has been battling ALS for more than a year. Tuesday’s event also served as a fundraiser to raise awareness and money to fight the devastating disease.

His colleagues say Tomassoni has been one of the good ones.

“We’d laugh at the end of every session and think, how did Tomassoni get all those bills done? I mean it was like nobody got more projects for the Northland or than any part of the state than Tomassoni,” said Senator Paul Gazelka, a Republican representing Minnesota’s 9th district.

Gazelka said Tomasonni, being a Chisholm native himself, was part of the reason he fought so hard for people living in his district.

Sen. David Tomassoni
Sen. David Tomassoni(KBJR 6/CBS 3)

“He’s a ranger, I’m a ranger, there’s something about the range where you fight for the range,” said Gazelka.

According to State Representative Dave Lislegard, who represents the Aurora area, Tomassoni was known for bringing people together regardless of party.

“He’s effective because he sets politics aside, he puts people before politics,” said Lislegard.

After Tomassoni announced his ALS diagnosis in 2021, the disease has progressed, affecting his movement and his ability to speak.

Tomassoni also announced Tuesday two bills he authored to help fight ALS: one set up grants for people living with ALS, and the other put funding toward ‘treating and preventing the disease.

Sen. David Tomassoni
Sen. David Tomassoni(KBJR 6/CBS 3)

“I’ve been battling ALS for 30 years and for the first time there’s some real momentum and real hope,” said David Kolquist, President of Never Surrender, a non-profit dedicated to raising money and awareness of ALS.

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