Dave Pinto, a Ramsey County prosecutor, bested five other DFLers to win the party endorsement to succeed state Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul.
Pinto won the endorsement on the 4th ballot of the 64B District convention. He got the nod outright, taking 61 percent of the votes after several hours of balloting. Pinto said local connections were key.
"I think long involvement in the community," Pinto said after winning the endorsement. "Really, I knew these delegates really well, from having been working on door knocks and phone banks and all sorts of things, and also service on the Highland District Council, and all that. I just think the connections made with folks. But it was a very good field of candidates, and tough race."
Paymar said in December that this would be his last legislative session after 18 years.
Pinto beat out TakeAction Minnesota spokeswoman Greta Bergstrom and the committee administrator on the House public safety committee that Paymar chairs -- Melanie McMahon. Other contenders included Matt Freeman, St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman's campaign manager, as well as deputy secretary of state Beth Fraser and DFL activist Gloria Zaiger.
The district has one of the highest DFL turnouts in the state and has been represented by a DFLer since 1983. The "A" side seat of Senate District 64 is held by House majority leader Erin Murphy.
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