Ecklund wins Minnesota House District 3A seat

A new face will represent Minnesota House District 3A after DFLer Rob Ecklund won a special election Tuesday to fill the seat formerly held by David Dill.

Rob Ecklund

A new face will represent Minnesota House District 3A after DFLer Rob Ecklund won a special election Tuesday to fill the seat formerly held by David Dill.
Ecklund, a Koochiching County commissioner from International Falls, received 63.9 percent of the vote, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office.
Dill died of cancer in August after representing District 3A for 12 years. He was most recently re-elected in 2014 and Ecklund will fill out the remainder of Dill’s term through 2016.
Ecklund thanked the voters for electing him and said their support means a great deal to him.
“We lost a true giant in August. David Dill left a legacy that I hope to be able to follow,” he said. He added that his thoughts and prayers are with Dill’s family and “I thank them for their support and guidance and advice.”
Republican Roger Skraba, a former Ely mayor and currently a wilderness canoe guide, received 19.5 percent and independent Kelsey Johnson, a lobbyist from Gnesen Township, received 15.9 percent of the vote Tuesday, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
District 3A is the state’s largest district and includes all of Cook and Koochiching counties, most of Lake County outside Two Harbors and the northern third of St. Louis County.
“It’s an honor to be elected. I’m looking forward to serving this district,” Ecklund said. “We have a huge, unique and dynamic district, but I’m looking forward to rolling my sleeves up and getting to work.”
Ecklund has served on the Koochiching County Board for the past four years and works at the Boise paper mill in International Falls. He is a member and past president of United Steelworkers Local 159. He defeated three candidates to win the Democratic primary election in September.
He said he plans to get going on bonding requests in the district during the upcoming legislative session. There’ll be some requests that don’t make the cut, however, “I would like to do what I can with the requests we have in here,” he said.
The requests include Ely’s call for a trailhead to bring snowmobile, cross-country skiing and hiking trails into one parking area, in addition to requests for street work, as well as Koochiching County’s requests for a Voyageurs National Park clean water sewer project and an overpass on Van Lynn Road east of International Falls, where about 50 families live on a dead-end and can’t bypass slow-moving trains, he said.
“There’s several others from across the district … and it’s going to be my job, as well as Sen. Bakk’s, to get as many of them in, even if they’re not fully funded,” he said.
Ecklund also noted that the Legislature will be passing a tax bill - and he would like to have a more solid formula for municipal and county aid in the bill “so our small units of government have a more solid funding base to know what they’re going to be at each budget year,” he said.

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