Dave Baker wins fifth term in Minnesota House 16B
Incumbent Minnesota Rep. Dave Baker won his fifth term in office Tuesday night, defeating challenger Fred Cogelow.
WILLMAR — While the district number may have changed from 17B to 16B, voters decided not to change their representative.
Dave Baker, a Republican from Willmar, handily won a return trip to the state Capitol, having beat Democrat challenger Fred Cogelow. Baker will serve his fifth two-year term in the state House, having first won election in 2014.
Baker defeated Cogelow 12,840 to 4,795, gathering 72% of votes cast to Cogelow's approximately 27%, according to unofficial results reported by the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office.
"I am very grateful for the wonderful support I've received once again from the voters of Kandiyohi County in my fifth race," Baker said. "It is very humbling to see the outpouring in the election results."
Baker added he had hoped for a better Republican showing in taking back the Minnesota House, but said he will continue to work on a bipartisan basis in St. Paul.
"We will continue to work with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to get good work done for the State of Minnesota," Baker said.
"I have texted Representative Baker congratulations and best wishes as he confronts the looming challenges ... hopes that he won't let the tail wag the dog," Cogelow said in an email statement to the Tribune late Tuesday.
A businessman in the hospitality industry, Baker owns Baker Hospitality Inc., which operates Willmar Super 8 Hotel and Green Lake Cruises in Spicer. He and his wife, Mary, live in Willmar and raised three children.
Over the last two years, he sat on the Behavioral Health Policy Division and Workforce and Business Development Finance and Policy committees. He was the chief author of 41 bills during the 2021-2022 legislative session and co-authored another 138, according to the Minnesota Legislature website. He has been a proponent of providing increased resources and treatment for those suffering from opioid addiction.
Cogelow, also of Willmar, is best known as a talented woodcarver. He also has experience with early childhood education and youth programs. In the past, Cogelow identified as a Republican, but decided to run as a Democrat in 2022 due to concerns he had regarding the health of the nation's democracy and the environment.
Baker will be sworn into office for his fifth term at the opening of the 93rd session of the Minnesota Legislature on Jan. 3, 2023.