Duluth council member wins seat on county board

  • Updated: January 18, 2014 - 6:26 PM

Duluth City Council Member Patrick Boyle won a spot on the St. Louis County Board in a special election Tuesday.

Boyle nabbed 65 percent of the vote to fill the vacancy left by his friend and mentor Steve O’Neil, who died in July of cancer. Boyle had just filed the paperwork to run for his City Council seat when he got a call from Angie Miller, O’Neil’s wife. She told him that O’Neil had hoped that Boyle would consider competing for his seat.

“It was a life-changing phone call,” Boyle said Friday.

Boyle, 39, decided to run, pledging to resign at the city level if he won at the county.

The contest pitted two veteran City Council members for the seat representing Duluth’s eastern side. Jim Stauber, 60, got 34 percent of the vote.

A nurse practitioner with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Boyle hopes to help the county address mental health issues in innovative ways. He will serve the remaining three years of O’Neil’s term.

“I will never be able to fill his shoes,” Boyle said, “but it’s a great honor that he even thought of me.”

JENNA ROSS @ByJenna

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