Democrat Rob Ecklund topped two candidates Tuesday night in the special election for House District 3A.
Ecklund beat Republican and former Ely Mayor Roger Skraba and independent candidate and lobbyist Kelsey Johnson by garnering nearly 64 percent of the vote. He replaces former Rep. David Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, who died in August after battling cancer.
Much like his predecessor, Eklund’s labor and pro-mining ties made him a natural fit in the sprawling northeastern Minnesota district. In September, Ecklund beat out three DFL candidates in a special primary election.
Eklund, who lives in International Falls, has served on the Koochiching County Board for the last four years and works at the Boise Paper mill. He is the former president of the United Steelworkers Local 159.
“Rob won this election by staying true to the DFL messages of expanding economic opportunity in northern Minnesota, honoring the region’s long tradition of hunting and fishing, and addressing the serious economic needs of the region,” DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said in a statement Tuesday night.
House District 3A is the largest in the state, covering an area that’s roughly the size of Maryland. It includes Koochiching and Cook counties, as well as parts of Lake County and St. Louis County.