See more of the story

State Rep. Heather Edelson will head to the Hennepin County Board after she wraps up the legislative session at the Capitol in St. Paul next week.

Edelson, a DFLer who represents Edina at the Legislature, won a special election Tuesday for the vacant District 6 seat on the County Board. She received 54% of more than 11,300 votes cast, defeating businesswoman Marisa Simonetti, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State's office.

Edelson was one of six Edina residents to file for the seat in District 6, which also includes Greenwood, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, Shorewood and Wayzata. She received the most votes in the April 30 special primary that narrowed the field to two candidates.

Edelson said she is excited to join the County Board after the legislative session wraps up. She will resign her House seat sometime next week, but plans to continue to be a point of contact for constituents until a new representative is elected in November.

"My No. 1 job is going to be getting to know the other commissioners and establishing a good working relationship," Edelson said.

In the campaign, Edelson focused on her three terms in the Legislature and time on the House Human Services Policy Committee, saying that experience would give her insight into the county's large social services operations.

She's also worked as a therapist and said mental health services would be a priority for her as a commissioner.

Edelson said she had already decided not to run for another term in the House before filing to run in the special election for the District 6 seat. She hopes the County Board will give her a chance not just to craft policy but to implement it.

Simonetti focused on improving public safety and a desire to rein in county spending. She was critical of how much the County Board has spent on the controversial Southwest light-rail line.

The Hennepin County Board has seven commissioners who oversee a budget of nearly $2.7 billion. Hennepin County is the second-largest government in Minnesota after the state, with 10,000 employees.

Edelson replaces Chris LaTondresse, who left the board in September to lead a St. Paul-based housing nonprofit.

Edelson won't get much of a break from campaigning. The District 6 seat is one of four on the County Board up for election in November.

Edelson and Simonetti have signaled they will run again for the seat in the fall. That could also mean competing in a summer primary, given the interest shown in the seat.