Paul McDonald appeared victorious in a northern race for St. Louis County Board, while incumbent commissioners Frank Jewell and Keith Nelson earned additional terms.

Meanwhile, Nancy Nilsen defeated Brandon Larson in the county auditor race 62 to 37 percent.

In the Duluth district, Jewell topped challenger Jim Booth by a margin of 61 to 39 percent in complete, but unofficial, results.

Up north, Nelson beat challenger Matt Matasich by a margin of 57 to 42, while McDonald defeated Bernie Mettler 55 to 44 percent.

McDonald wins in northern district

McDonald and Mettler were competing for the sprawling District 4 seat covers the entire northern half of St. Louis County and extends as far south as the townships immediately north of eastern Duluth.

Incumbent Tom Rukavina, a longtime state legislator who was first elected to the board in 2014, announced earlier this year that he would seek re-election due to health issues.

McDonald, 61, of Ely is a retired coach, athletic director and teacher at Vermilion Community College. Mettler, 55, of Embarrass, retired earlier this year after 28 years as a St. Louis County sheriff's deputy.

Nilsen elected auditor

Nilsen won the auditor race, running up a huge lead in her hometown of Duluth.

The retirement of County Auditor Don Dicklich, who was first elected to the seat in 2004, prompted a rare contested race for a position that operates largely behind-the-scenes and out of the public eye.

Nilsen, 59, is the office's chief deputy auditor. A former Duluth School Board member, she has a background in computers and information technology with the county and also in health care and defense.

Larson, 36, of Mountain Iron, is the office's tax division manager, handling $305 billion in local government levy authority, including for Duluth and all the Iron Range communities.

Incumbents perform well

Jewell topped Booth in a rematch of their 2014 race for the 1st District seat.

Jewell, 68, has been a longtime community activist and former city councilor in Duluth.

"I think that I have worked hard to represent the people of the 1st District, whether it's folks on Park Point with issues related to tax-forfeited land or it's folks in need of health care," Jewell said, noting that constituents tend to remember the aid he has rendered.

"I think people see me as someone who works for their interests."

Booth, 60, has served on various boards and, in recent years, mounted numerous campaigns for public office. A military veteran, he has a diverse work background, serving as a financial planner since 1989.

Meanwhile, Nelson opened up a late lead over Matasich.

Nelson, 60, of Fayal Township, has served four terms as District 6 commissioner, having first been elected in 2002. He is the current board chairman.

Matasich, 58, of Virginia, is a staunch Republican who has frequently run for, and lost, various local elections. He campaigned on a platform of splitting St. Louis County in half.

In other races, County Attorney Mark Rubin ran unopposed for a third term, while Sheriff Ross Litman was uncontested in his fifth election.

Five judges chambered in St. Louis County - Michelle Anderson, Dale Harris, Shaun Floerke, Mark Starr and Jill Eichenwald - also were unopposed.