By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Challengers defeated at least three incumbent Democratic legislators in Minnesota’s primary elections as the progressive wing of the party shows its strength.

Sen. Erik Simonson of Duluth lost to attorney Jen McEwen, who campaigned against copper-nickel mining and an oil pipeline project that he supports. Rep. Ray Dehn lost to Esther Agbaje in a Minneapolis race. Rep. John Lesch lost to Athena Hollins in St. Paul.

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And, based on incomplete results, Sen. Jeff Hayden, an assistant majority leader who was active in passing police accountability legislation, was trailing self-described democratic socialist Omar Fateh in the Minneapolis district where George Floyd was killed. If his lead holds, Fateh could be the first Somali American elected to the Minnesota Senate.

Hayden, Simonson and Dehn all ran without the Democratic Party endorsement after losing it to their challengers, who want the party to take a more aggressive approach on social justice and other issues.

The vote-counting continued Wednesday. Absentee ballots postmarked by Tuesday will still be accepted through Thursday.

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