With MPR’s Tim Pugmire…
The stage is set for Minnesota’s primary and general election. The filings for office closed today at 5pm.
There will be primaries in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race, six Congressional races and 44 legislative races.
In Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race, DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Republican Kurt Bills each face lesser known, perennial candidates.
The races for Congress include two highly-watched primary battles. State Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, and former state Rep. Allen Quist are running in the Republican primary in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District. Republican delegates in that race failed to endorse a candidate. The winner of the primary will face DFL U.S. Rep. Tim Walz in November.
Former Congressman Rick Nolan won the DFL endorsement in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. He faces a primary challenge from former Duluth City Council member Jeff Anderson and former State Sen. Tarryl Clark. The winner will face GOP U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack in November.
The other Congressional incumbents are facing primary challenges from lesser known candidates.
The race for Minnesota Legislature also features several primary contests in both the House and Senate.
Incumbent state Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, is facing a primary challenge. It’s one of at least nine Republican Senate primaries.
Incumbent DFL state Senators Chris Eaton of Brooklyn Center, Tom Saxhaug of Grand Rapids and Lyle Koenen of Clara City have primary challengers. There will also be DFL contests in at least seven other Senate districts, including the St. Paul district where four Democrats want to replace retiring state Sen. John Harrington.
In the Minnesota House, there are Republican primaries set in at least 11 districts, and DFL primaries in at least 14 districts. Multiple candidates filed for the seats of several retiring representatives, including Republican Morrie Lanning of Moorhead and DFLer Tom Rukavina of Virginia.
Forty-six incumbents will not run for their current office in the Minnesota Legislature. 11 of those incumbents are running for another office. They include Bills and Parry, who are running for federal office. Nine members of the Minnesota House are opting to run for a state Senate seat.
There’s an unusually high turnover of candidates for a regular campaign year but that’s in large part because redistricting pairs incumbents together and forces others to consider retirement.
Minnesota’s Legislative Library say 47 members of the 2002 Legislature opted not to run for their current seat. That’s the last time the political lines were redrawn as a result of redistricting.
Here’s the retirement list:
Democrats not running for re-election in the Minnesota Senate:
Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon
Sen. Mary Jo McGuire, DFL-Falcon Heights
Sen. Ken Kelash, DFL-Minneapolis
Sen. Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis
Sen. John Harrington, DFL-St. Paul
Republicans not running for re-election in the Minnesota Senate:
Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas
Sen. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton
Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca (Running for Congress)
Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo
Sen. Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley
Sen. Michael Jungbauer, R-East Bethel
Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina
Sen. Claire Robling, R-Jordan
Sen. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista
Sen. Al DeKruif, R-Madison Lake
Sen. Ray Vandeveer, R-Forest Lake
Democrats not running again in the Minnesota House:
Rep. Marion Greene, DFL-Minneapolis
Rep. Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Kate Knuth, DFL-New Brighton
Rep. Denise Dittrich, DFL-Champlin
Rep. Larry Hosch, DFL-St. Joseph
Rep. Bev Scalze, DFL-Little Canada (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Nora Slawik, DFL-Maplewood
Rep. Bill Hilty, DFL-Finlayson
Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville
Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia
Rep. Kory Kath, DFL-Owatonna
Rep. Sandra Peterson, DFL-New Hope
Rep. Tom Tilberry, DFL-Fridley
Republicans not running again in the Minnesota House:
Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove
Rep. Mike LeMieur, R-Little Falls
Rep. Pat Mazorol, R-Bloomington
Rep. Connie Doepke, R-Orono (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Ron Shimanski, R-Silver Lake
Rep. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Kurt Bills, R-Rosemount (running for the U.S. Senate)
Rep. Brandon Peterson, R-Andover (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Keith Downey, R-Edina (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Mark Murdock, R-Perham
Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan
Rep. Bruce Anderson, R-Buffalo Township (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Carol McFarlane, R-White Bear Lake
Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead
Rep. Roger Crawford, R-Mora