MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Jeff Johnson has enough votes to be declared the winner of the Republican primary for Minnesota’s governor.
County Commissioner Johnson’s win derailed former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s bid to reclaim his old job.
Johnson won Tuesday despite Pawlenty’s enormous fundraising and name recognition advantages. He also won despite his own history as the party’s losing candidate for governor four years ago.
WEB EXTRA: WCCO Election Guide 2018
The Republican race to the gubernatorial primary wasn’t without its bumps. Johnson, who was the party-endorsed candidate, and Pawlenty, a former two-term Minnesota governor, traded barbs.
Johnson positioned himself as a more conservative candidate than Pawlenty. He branded the former two-term governor as part of the “status quo” and bashed him for calling Trump “unhinged and unfit for the presidency” in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.
Throughout the summer, Johnson also trailed behind Pawlenty in terms of campaign fundraising.
Pawlenty was hoping to resurrect his political career after flaming out as a presidential candidate in 2011. He spent the intervening years as a Washington lobbyist.
The Secretary of State’s office said as of last week, early voting was up nearly 200 percent from the 2016 general election.
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(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)