Fourth candidate joins St. Louis County Board race

Eric Erkkila is touting his "blue-collar upbringing and management experience" in running for the western Duluth seat.

A Duluth man who has spent a career in the mechanical field has entered the race for St. Louis County Board.

Eric Erkkila announced his candidacy Wednesday for the District 3 commissioner seat covering the western half of Duluth. He's the fourth to announce a run after incumbent Beth Olson said she would not seek reelection this fall .

“I’m running for this seat as I believe we need more focus on basic services, holding the line on property taxes (and) focusing on good-paying job growth so we can raise families and retain our young people in the district, and to also strengthen the bond between the Iron Range and Duluth,” Erkkila in a statement.

Erkkila, 61, grew up in Virginia but now lives and works in Duluth. He said he has a "rich base of knowledge" from a career in the private sector, where he has worked as a mechanical drafter, construction project manager, mechanical field installation engineer and, currently, as business development and technical sales manager at Cast Steel Products.

Erkkila said he comes from a working-class Iron Range family, his father a union carpenter and his mother a hardworking Norwegian immigrant. He lives in the Piedmont Heights neighborhood with his wife of nearly 30 years, Nancy, and 9-year-old son Aiden.


“With my blue-collar upbringing and management experience, I feel I am uniquely qualified to understand the problems and needs of residents in the district, as well as the entire county, and what we need to do to grow and serve our constituents," Erkkila said in a news release. "There has been no growth in St. Louis County for over two decades; that cannot continue."

Also in the race are former Duluth City Councilor Noah Hobbs , Duluth Human Rights Commission vice chair Ashley Grimm and Duluth business owner Joe Macor .

An Aug. 11 primary will narrow the field to two candidates for the Nov. 3 general election.

What To Read Next
Get Local