ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democrats in St. Paul and Falcon Heights chose a former state representative to run in a special election next month for an open seat in the state Senate.

Former Rep. Mary Jo McGuire won the DFL primary Tuesday against current state Rep. John Lesch and attorney Steven Marchese. With all but one precinct reporting, McGuire had 54 percent of the vote to 37 percent for Lesch and 9 percent for Marchese.

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The seat opened after Gov. Mark Dayton appointed longtime Sen. Ellen Anderson to head the Public Utilities Commission. Anderson held the seat for nearly two decades.

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McGuire will face Republican Greg Copeland in an April 12 special election. She’s expected to have an edge in the strongly Democratic district.

McGuire served in the state House from 1989 to 2003.

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