Three DFLers seeking former Rep. David Dill’s state House seat

Three northern Minnesota DFLers have now formally announced their plans to run for the District 3A state House seat this fall.

Gov. Mark Dayton will call a special election to fill the seat after the death of state Rep. David Dill earlier this month. The district includes International Falls, Cook, Tower, Ely and Grand Marais.

Formal announcements now have come from Ely City Council Member Heidi Omerza, Koochiching County Commissioner Rob Ecklund and environmental activist Bill Hansen of Tofte. All three said they’ll seek the DFL endorsement.

There will be a primary election if needed, and the winner of the special election will fill Dill’s seat through 2016.

Ecklund announced a week ago; the county commissioner from International Falls is a member and past president of United Steelworkers Local 159 and works at the Boise paper mill. 

He said in a statement: “My goal, if elected, will be to protect our jobs, values and the outdoor opportunities we cherish from the shores of Lake Superior to the Rainy River.”

In her announcement last week, Omerza, of Ely, cited her experience as past president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and as a League of Minnesota Cities board member, and said: “Economic development and jobs are a priority, business growth, technology and retention are key. I believe our area has the tools and resources to thrive.”

Hansen’s announcement this morning says that, as a small business owner from Tofte, he’ll work for:

  • A strong and diverse economy through education excellence, community development, appropriate technology and a culture of entrepreneurship
  • Progressive and fair taxation
  • High quality, affordable health care
  • Enforcement and protection of Minnesota’s existing environmental laws

Dill was in his 7th term in the House when he died Aug. 8 after a battle with cancer. He was 60.

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