By Alex Kurt for


The 33-year-old mayor of an iconic northern Minnesota town runs, bikes, backpacks, hikes, and brings his love of the outdoors with him to city hall.

Jay Arrowsmith-DeCoux lives near the tip of Minnesota’s Arrowhead,where thick forests and old mountains drop to an inland sea. There, on the edge of Lake Superior, the town of Grand Marais (population 1,351) serves as a hub to a remote region.

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is nearby. Rivers drop precipitously from the hills, massive waterfalls that freeze to cathedrals of ice each fall before a lock-down winter sets in. It’s the kind of environment that can forge a person, change lives, and make a young man with a diverse background run for mayor.

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