WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) released the below statement following the passing of longtime champion of the Iron Range, Tom Rukavina:

“Minnesota and the Iron Range have lost a true champion for workers. Tom Rukavina understood the dignity of hard work, and was a force for Iron Range workers and their families. He spent nearly three decades in elected office on the Range fighting for miners and bringing good-paying union jobs to the region. As Tom would tell it, he was for the little fellers, not the Rockefellers—a tribute to his friend and the late Senator Paul Wellstone, who died in a plane crash on his way to attend a funeral for Tom’s father, Bennie. Tom also taught his children the value of service. His daughter, Ida, leads my Northern Minnesota office and shares her father’s strength and tenacity. My prayers are with Ida and the entire Rukavina family today.”