State Rep. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, has won a special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Gary Kubly. Koenen received 54 percent of the vote. Republican Gregg Kulberg received 40 percent and Independence Party member Leon Greenslit was third with five percent of the vote. The district includes Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Renville, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties.
Gov. Dayton called the special election to fill the vacant seat after Kubly died from ALS in March. Koenen will serve out the remainder of Kubly’s term but will also challenge GOP Sen. Joe Gimse in a newly configured Senate district. A court-appointed panel paired Gimse and Kubly when they designed the new political boundaries in February.
Koenen announced he would challenge Gimse after he was paired Rep. Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock in the new political boundaries.
Update: Gov. Dayton spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci says Dayton will not call a special election to fill Koenen’s seat. She said it’s not possible to fill the seat this legislative session (based on timing). She said the seat will be filled on the Nov. 6 general election.