Legislative Updates: 2018 Election Outcomes

Yesterday’s election in Minnesota saw over 2.5 million votes cast in the major statewide races, which at 61%, is the highest midterm turnout in Minnesota since 2002. At stake for Minnesota was control of the Minnesota House of Representatives; control of the Minnesota Senate with a tie in the Senate at 33-33 and one special election on the ballot; and statewide races that included Governor/Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Auditor. At the national level, both the fate of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate was on the ballot.

The Minnesota House of Representatives flipped from Republican to DFL control following yesterday’s election. For either party to attain control of the Minnesota House, they must win at least 68 seats. The DFL picked up 18 seats, mostly in suburban districts, and went from 57 seats to 75 seats, while the Republicans went from 77 seats to 59 seats.

The House seats that changed party control are listed below:

  • John Persell (DFL) defeated Rep. Matt Bliss (R) for House District 05A
  • Dan Wolgamott (DFL) defeated Rep. Jim Knoblach (R) for House District 14B
  • Kelly Morrison (DFL) defeated Rep. Cindy Pugh (R) for House District 33B
  • Kristin Bahner (DFL) defeated Rep. Dennis Smith (R) for House District 34B
  • Zach Stepheson (DFL) won the seat held by retiring Rep. Mark Uglem (R) for House District 36A
  • Ami Wazlawik (DFL) won the seat held by retiring Rep. Matt Dean (R) for House District 38B
  • Shelly Christensen (DFL) defeated Rep. Kathy Lohmer (R) for House District 39B
  • Kelly Moller (DFL) defeated Rep. Randy Jessup (R) for House District 42A
  • Ginny Klevorn (DFL) defeated Rep. Sarah Anderson (R) for House District 44A
  • Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (DFL) defeated Rep. Jenifer Loon (R) for House District 48B
  • Heather Edelson (DFL) defeated Rep. Dario Anselmo (R) for House District 49A
  • Ruth Richardson (DFL) defeated Rep. Regina Barr (R) for House District 52B
  • Steve Sandell (DFL) defeated Rep. Kelly Fenton (R) for House District 53B
  • Anne Claflin (DFL) defeated Rep. Keith Franke (R) for House District 54A
  • Brad Tabke (DFL) won the seat held by Rep. Bob Loonan (R), who lost the August primary, for House District 55A
  • Hunter Cantrell (DFL) defeated Rep. Drew Christensen (R) for House District 56A
  • Alice Mann (DFL) defeated Rep. Roz Peterson (R) for House District 56B
  • John Huot (DFL) defeated Rep. Anna Wills (R) for House District 57B

The DFL majority is expected to caucus Thursday to vote on leadership.

The Minnesota Senate will stay in Republican hands following the special election in Senate District 13 where State Representative Jeff Howe (R) prevailed over Stearns County Commissioner Joe Perske (DFL) 57% to 43% to fill the Senate seat vacated by Lt. Governor Michelle Fischbach (R). With Howe’s victory, the Minnesota Senate will return to having a 34-33 Republican majority. Howe will have to run again for the Minnesota Senate in 2020 when all 67 Senate seats will be on the ballot.

Minnesotans elected Democrats to serve as Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and State Auditor. Congressman Tim Walz (DFL) and state Representative Peggy Flanagan (DFL) prevailed over Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (R) and retired Lieutenant Colonel Donna Bergstrom (R) to be the state’s next governor and lieutenant governor by a margin of 54% to 42%.

Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL) prevailed over former state Representative Doug Wardlow (R) 49% to 45% in the race to succeed Attorney General Lori Swanson (DFL).

Secretary of State Steve Simon (DF) was re-elected to a second term by a margin of 52% to 44% over former state Senator John Howe (R). And for the state auditor race, former AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Julie Blaha (DFL) prevailed over former state Representative Pam Myhra (R) 49% to 43% in the race to succeed retiring State Auditor Rebecca Otto (DFL).

Minnesota’s 10-member congressional delegation will have five new members following the results of yesterday’s election. The delegation will include at least seven Democrats and two Republicans, while one race has not yet been called. Republicans maintained control of the U.S. Senate, picking up two seats, but the U.S. House of Representatives flipped from Republican control to Democratic control. While there are still races not yet called, Democrats have picked up 27 seats so far in the U.S. House.

In the U.S. Senate, Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL) prevailed over state Representative Jim Newberger (R) 60% to 36% in her bid for a third term. Klobuchar’s Senate seat will not be on the ballot until November 2024. Senator Tina Smith (DFL) won the support of voters to continue serving in the U.S. Senate following her appointment by Governor Dayton to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of former Senator Al Franken (DFL). Smith prevailed over state Senator Karin Housley (R) 53% to 42%. Smith will fill the remaining two years of the term but will have to run again in two years if she wants to serve a full six-year term in the U.S. Senate.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, the race between Jim Hagedorn (R) and Dan Feehan (DFL) in the first congressional district has not yet been called. With 99.86% of precincts in the district reporting, Hagedorn narrowly leads Feehan 50.17% to 49.63%. If Hagedorn’s lead holds, his victory will represent one of two races in the country where a U.S. House seat flipped from Democrat to Republican (both in Minnesota).

In the second congressional district, Angie Craig (DFL) prevailed over Congressman Jason Lewis (R) 53% to 47%. This seat flipped from Republican to Democrat, which added to the change in control in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dean Phillips (DFL) prevailed over Congressman Erik Paulsen (R) 56% to 44% to represent Minnesota’s third congressional district, which includes the western suburbs of Minneapolis. Phillips was also successful at flipping a seat from Republican to Democrat.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL) won re-election to a 10th term over her Republican challenger 66% to 30% to represent the fourth congressional district, which includes St. Paul and surrounding suburbs.

And in the fifth congressional district, State Representative Ilhan Omar (DFL) prevailed in the race to succeed Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL) 78% to 22% over her Republican opponent. The district includes Minneapolis and surrounding first-ring suburbs. With her victory, Omar is the first Somali-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman Tom Emmer (R) won re-election over his DFL challenger 61% to 39% for a third term to represent Minnesota’s sixth congressional district, which includes most or all of Benton, Carver, Sherburne, Stearns, Wright, Anoka, and Washington counties.

Prevailing over his Republican challenger 52% to 48%, Congressman Collin Peterson (DFL) will start his 20th term representing Minnesota’s seventh congressional district, which covers most of western Minnesota.

St. Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber (R) prevailed over former state Representative Joe Radinovich (DFL) 51% to 45% to succeed retiring Congressman Rick Nolan (DFL) to represent Minnesota’s eighth congressional district. The district spans from the northern exurbs of the Twin Cities, up through Brainerd, Duluth and the Iron Range, all the way across the Boundary Waters to the northeastern corner of the state. Stauber’s victory represents just one of potentially two instances in the country where a U.S. House seat flipped from Democrat to Republican.

A complete summary of the 2018 election outcomes can be found HERE. Please note the results are considered unofficial with some races not yet called.

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