minnesota politics 101 1400x1400 Karin Housley Wins GOP Special Election Primary For Senate

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Karin Housley has enough votes to be declared the winner of the Republican primary for Minnesota’s U.S. Senate seat up for special election later this year.

As Sen. Tina Smith was also named the winner on the DFL side means that’s who Housley will face off against in the general election in November.

WEB EXTRA: WCCO Election Guide 2018

Smith has served in this Senate seat since it was vacated by Al Franken, who resigned amid a number of sexual misconduct allegations last year. Prior to that, Smith was Gov. Mark Dayton’s lieutenant governor.

Housley faced no major challengers when launching her campaign in the days after Franken announced his resignation over allegations of sexual misconduct.

His departure unexpectedly put a Democrat-held seat in play, complicating the party’s hopes of retaking the Senate. But Minnesota hasn’t yet appeared as a top pick-up target for Republican groups.

Sen. Tina Smith was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton to replace Franken in January. She won Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the seat.

The Secretary of State’s office said as of last week, early voting was up nearly 200 percent from the 2016 general election.

Click here for the full election results.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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