Bakk announces retirement from Minnesota Senate

Bakk announces retirement from Minnesota Senate
Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 9:37 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 18, 2022 at 12:26 AM CDT
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Cook, MN-- Senator Tom Bakk, an independent from Cook, announced Thursday he is retiring and will not seek re-election to Minnesota’s District 3 state senate seat.

Bakk is in sixth term representing District 3, which encompasses portions of St. Louis, Lake, and Cook counties.

Senator Bakk said in a statement that “There is still a lot more to be done, but it is time for me to pass the torch.”

Keith Steva, a Cook resident, recently announced he plans to run for the District 3 Senate seat.

So far, no other candidates have publicly announced their campaigns.

With Sen. David Tomassoni also announcing his retirement, that will leave two northeastern Minnesota state senate seats up for grabs in November.

Both Tomassoni and Bakk left the DFL in 2020 becoming independent instead.

Their open seats could determine what the state’s politics look like in the coming years.

“It’s gonna be probably the battle for control of the state senate,” said Aaron Brown, an Iron Range political expert.

Brown said the historically DFL dominated region has recently seen a surge in Republican voters, making the upcoming election a must-win for either political party.

“What’s left behind are both new districts they’ve been redrawn, they’ve changed geographically, but they’ve also changed politically,” said Brown.

Brown believes the district represents a statement-win for both parties.

“It’s an election that matters, because neither outcome is certain. The result of the election will have a big influence on where not just northern Minnesota goes, but where the state goes,” he said.

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