Cook-based challenger to take on Sen. Bakk

The Minnesota newcomer, Keith Steva, aims to make climate change his top priority.

Keith Steva
Keith Steva
Contributed / Keith Steva
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COOK — Keith Steva, of Cook, announced on Facebook earlier this month that he’ll challenge incumbent Tom Bakk, I-Cook, for the State Senate District 03 seat, representing the northeastern corner of Minnesota.

Steva is running on a platform to address climate change.

Tom Bakk
Tom Bakk

“We are deeply concerned about climate change and the future impact on our five children and 10 grandchildren,” Steva said of he and his wife, Amy, in his announcement. “Our country is so divided, we cannot work together to make effective progress addressing climate change. We feel we must do as much as we possibly can to pass along to our grandchildren a world that is habitable.”

The district includes all of Cook and Lake counties and part of St. Louis County.
Bakk is a six-time incumbent. He and fellow Iron Range state Sen. David Tomassoni, I-Chisholm, left the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in 2021 to form an independent caucus.

Steva moved to northern Minnesota in 2019 following a career in the technology industry. He began working in the Democratic party as a county chair in South Dakota.


“We already know we will be leaving (children) a world which is much less livable than we grew up in,” Steva wrote on Facebook. “We don’t want our grandchildren to eventually say, ‘They knew, and they did nothing.’”

The midterm election is Nov. 8 and the primary Aug. 9. The filing deadline is May 31.

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Bygones is researched and written by David Ouse, retired reference librarian from the Duluth Public Library. He can be contacted at