Rob Ecklund, an International Falls Democrat, won a crushing victory over two opponents in a special election Tuesday to replace the late Rep. David Dill. 

Ecklund, a Koochiching County Commissioner, won with 64 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Roger Skraba and an independent candidate, Kelsey Johnson. 

His victory follows a hard fought primary victory in September that became a proxy battle over the future of copper-nickel mining in northeastern Minnesota. 

Ecklund will fit with the Iron Range DFL political profile, tightly linked to organized labor and skeptical of environmental regulation. He was president of United Steelworkers Local 159 for nine years, and spent 12 years with the Pulp and Paperworkers’ Resource Council, a labor-management group that advocates for the industry in the face of environmental regulatory threats.

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