It looks, as of about 4 a.m., that both houses of the Legislature are going to change hands. The DFL needed to pick up six seats in the House to take control. It got 11. In the Senate, the DFL did even better, picking up what looks to be nine seats, when they needed four.
The party did well in the suburbs and beat some senior Republicans, including Rep. Larry Howes and Sen. Joe Gimse. The DFL swept the head-to-head general election matchups that resulted from redistricting earlier this year.
Among the incumbents beaten Tuesday were, in the House:
- Dave Hancock, Bemidji
- Larry Howes, Walker
- Carolyn McElfatrick, Deer River
- King Banaian, St. Cloud
- Bruce Vogel, Willmar
- Rich Murray, Albert Lea
- Diane Anderson, Eagan
- Doug Wardlow, Eagan
And in the Senate:
- John Carlson, Bemidji
- Joe Gimse, Willmar
- John Howe, Red Wing
- Benjamin Kruse, Brooklyn Park
- Pam Wolf, Spring Lake Park
- Ted Daley, Eagan
- Ted Lillie, Woodbury
All were Republicans. Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, leads her DFL rival Bob Cunniff by a single vote.
DFLers lost some open seats, but with the exception of Kerry Gauthier of Duluth, the party’s existing office holders — including House members Kent Eken, Bev Scalze and Bobby Joe Champion, moving up to the Senate — will be returning to St. Paul. Mary Kiffmeyer and Torrey Westrom both upgraded their seat to the Senate for the GOP
Also of note, the DFL and the GOP each failed to contest two races in the House. The GOP left four DFL Senators unchallenged; Scott Dibble and Jeff Hayden, Minneapolis; Chris Eaton, Brooklyn Center and Kathy Sheran, Mankato.
Here’s the tale of the tape, or at least as close as we could get at 4 a.m., in the Senate. (Sorry for the tiny type, but you can download larger pdf versions):
And here’s the House version: