uesday’s election exposed electoral challenges for both Democrats and Republicans moving forward. Democrats suffered all but one of their majority-costing statehouse losses in districts outside the Twin Cities and their suburbs.
DFLers in the Minnesota House have elected Rep. Paul Thissen of Minneapolis as their new minority leader. Thissen had been House speaker. But with Republicans winning control of the Minnesota House in Tuesday’s elections, Democrats are returning to minority status in that chamber.
Republicans have grabbed control of the Minnesota House and broken up the Democrats’ short run of one-party rule at the Capitol. House Speaker Paul Thissen conceded early Wednesday that Democrats had lost control of the chamber.
Sen. Al Franken’s margin of victory in Tuesday’s election was a landslide compared to his razor-thin win six years ago. In July of 2009, after a seven-month recount and a drawn-out legal challenge, Franken was finally declared the winner by just 312 votes. While the margin of Franken’s victory this time was predicted by recent polls, as recently as a year ago he was not expected to do nearly as well.
Minnesota’s most senior member of Congress, Collin Peterson, has won his 13th term. Voters in western Minnesota’s 7th District are sending Democrat Collin Peterson back to Washington after he withstood a vigorous challenge from GOP state Sen. Torrey Westrom.
Democratic Rep. Tim Walz has won a fifth term in Congress in southern Minnesota’s 1st District, defeating Blue Earth businessman Jim Hagedorn.
Minnesota voters have re-elected Lori Swanson to a third term as attorney general, extending the DFL Party’s 43-year lock on the office. Swanson defeated GOP state Sen. Scott Newman of Hutchinson. Swanson campaigned on her record of consumer protection as the state’s chief legal officer.
Democrat Mark Dayton won a second term Tuesday as Minnesota governor in the capstone race of his long political career. He defeated Republican challenger Jeff Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner who portrayed Dayton as having been around too long and bungling several issues while in office.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum has won an 8th term in Minnesota’s east metro 4th District. McCollum defeated the Republican candidate, attorney Sharna Wahlgren, and Independence Party candidate Dave Thomas, an Iraq War veteran.
Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen has won a fourth term representing Minnesota’s west suburban 3rd District.
GOP Rep. John Kline has won his 7th term in Congress despite a well-known comedian’s intervention in the race.
Sen. Al Franken is the projected winner for Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race.
Democratic Sen. Al Franken hoped to win a second term in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday more comfortably than he won his first. Franken’s victory by a mere 312 votes in a 2008 recount made him an alluring target for Republicans, who hoped to seize control of the Senate.
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The leading candidates for Minnesota’s top offices are spending the final campaign weekend giving pep talks to the party faithful knocking on doors and calling persuadable voters. Democratic Sen. Al Franken told canvassers in a St. Paul suburb that races are “won at the door” and says his 312-vote win six years ago proves nothing can be taken for granted.