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Minnesota Democrats Stump for #VoteDuluth

It’s coming down to the wire in Outside’s fourth annual “Best Towns Tournament,” and Minnesota Democrats are doing their darnedest to ensure that nobody, but nobody — that means you, Beehive Staters — comes between Duluth and sweet, sweet victory.

Minnesota Democrats Stump for #VoteDuluth

The monthlong competition has seen its share of ups and downs, with the two top contenders battling hard for national recognition.

Along the way, Duluth handily disposed of Columbia, Mo. (enjoying a nearly 5-to-1 advantage in the first round); then trumped Athens, Ohio (second round); La Crosse, Wis. (third round); neighboring Minneapolis (fourth round) and Asheville, N.C. (fifth round), to reach the finals.

Provo bested Jackson, Wyo. (first round); Taos, N.M. (second round); Missoula, Mont. (third round); Anchorage, Alaska (fourth round), and then just barely squeaked by Ithaca, N.Y. (receiving just 51 percent of the votes in the fifth round), in its bid to achieve destination travel dominance.

With municipal bragging rights up for grabs through Sunday (voting closes just before the stroke of midnight June 15), the Minnesota delegation is letting the trash talk fly.

Based on their continued Twitter silence surrounding the entire affair, Utah lawmakers are either supremely confident or completely unaware of the territorial tug-of-war.

Meanwhile, HOH asked Teams Franken and Nolan to share some insights into what, exactly, makes Duluth so infinitely cool.

Sadly, we were provided no such guidance. So, we went digging on our own.

From the looks of things, Duluth is the type of place that wholly embraces:

Miniaturized things

Why battle crowds in the Big Apple when there’s a pint-sized replica of Lady Liberty to admire right beside the local convention center?

Freakishly large things

Get a load of the giant auto repair manual immortalized in the “Books on the Plaza” mural that adorns the downtown library.

And totally insane things

(Remember that time we all dropped acid, donned medieval attire and then formed a conga line behind a giant bunny over in Enger Park? Yeah, me neither . . . )

Getting better acquainted with Provo proved somewhat more challenging, given that our only frame of reference was what we’d gleaned from fellow hack Irwin Maurice Fletcher.

Turns out, Provo has some pretty solid selling points.

There’s kolache for all

“Bike Prom” — that’s how they roll

Airport security, schmairport security

We’ll remain on tenterhooks until this geographic battle royal is resolved.