State Rep. David Dill dies

Rep. David Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, and other members of the House are sworn in during the first day of the legislative session at the Capitol in January 2013. Jeffrey Thompson | MPR News

Updated: 1:06 p.m. | Posted: 11:05 a.m.

State Rep. David Dill has died after a battle with cancer.  He was 60 years old.

Dill, a Democrat, was first elected to the Minnesota House in 2002 and represented a district that stretches across northern Minnesota’s border with Canada, including the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park. He served on committees covering natural resources, the environment and mining policy.

In a statement released early Sunday, Gov. Mark Dayton said Dill was deeply committed to Minnesota.

“As a legislator, he advocated tirelessly for the best interests of his district and the general welfare our state. I will miss him. At this difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with his wife Tucky and son Drake,” Dayton said.

House DFL minority leader Paul Thissen said in a statement Sunday Dill was focused on his constituents and “wore his success lightly and when he spoke, people listened because they knew he said what he really believed, he didn’t play partisan games, and most often had common sense on his side. Most important, he cared deeply for his family and spoke often about them with pride and love.”

Dill chaired the House Subcommittee on Lands. Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt said that, over time, the Legislature will determine how to fill that position.

Dill will be missed, he said, by everyone in the Legislature.

“He was someone who really made friends with Republicans, as well, and worked across the aisle,” Daudt said. “He was a very strong advocate for sportsmen.”

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said the loss is a personal one; he and Dill were friends. Bakk said Dill will be remembered as a lawmaker who was very passionate about representing his constituents.

“He really came to the legislature, wasn’t looking for a job, wasn’t looking for health insurance, [he] really came for the right reason,” Bakk said. “And [he] did a remarkable job representing them.”

The Legislature isn’t scheduled to be is session again until next March, but Gov. Dayton has the authority to call for a special election to fill Dill’s House seat.