Skip to main content

DFLer wins special election for northeastern MN House seat


DFLer Rob Ecklund is the newest member of the Minnesota House, after winning a special election Tuesday in District 3A to fill the seat formerly held by David Dill, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Dill, also a DFLer, died of cancer in August after serving in the House for 12 years.

Ecklund received about 64 percent of the vote in the heavily Democratic district, compared to 19 percent for Republican Roger Skraba and 16 percent for independent candidate Kelsey Johnson, according to the Secretary of State's office.

DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin released a statement congratulating Ecklund on his victory.

“Rob won this election by staying true to the DFL messages of expanding economic opportunity in northern Minnesota, honoring the regions long tradition of hunting and fishing, and addressing the serious economic needs of the region," he said.

Ecklund faced the greater challenge in the DFL primary, which was held in late September. He defeated several candidates including Bill Hansen, owner of Sawbill Canoe Outfitters, in what was considered a referendum on the future of the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in the district.

Ecklund called himself "100 percent pro-mining," while Hansen, an environmentalist, opposes PolyMet's plans. 

Ecklund is currently a Koochiching County commissioner and works at the Boise paper mill in International Falls, according to the News Tribune. He will fill out the remainder of Dill's term through 2016.

Next Up

Mike Zimmer

Vikings fans clamor for change after latest bad loss under Mike Zimmer

The "fire Mike Zimmer" tweets are raging on Twitter again.

Tony Oliva

Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat are finally heading to Cooperstown

The Twins legends were elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame on Sunday night.

Tanner Morgan

Report: Gophers to play in Guaranteed Rate Bowl

The Gophers will reportedly head to Phoenix to take on West Virginia.

Adam Thielen

Winless Lions beat Vikings on final play of game

Adam Thielen also left early with an ankle injury

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 7-0 on Willis' late 3-pointer

The Gophers earned back-to-back road victories for the first time since January 2017.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Woman in critical condition after being shot in the head in St. Paul

Officers responded to the incident at around 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

Alexander Mattison

Vikings-Lions: 5 things you can count on

It's a great time for the Vikings to play the Lions.


Omicron variant confirmed in Wisconsin man who traveled to South Africa

Five other cases have been confirmed and linked to a Wisconsin wedding.

Sharon Mollerus - duluth - snow plow car

Sunday snowstorm walloping MN's North Shore with huge totals

Just ridiculous snow totals expected the rest of Sunday.

Screen Shot 2021-12-05 at 6.49.03 AM

Saturday snow causes havoc on Twin Cities roads

There were countless spinouts and crashes across Minnesota.


There's a special election today to fill a vacant MN House seat

It marks the end of the 2016 election in Minnesota.