Surviving 3 more campaign weeks brings parties

Three weeks from Tuesday brings reason for many voters to celebrate: This exhausting election should reach an end.

Celebrating the outcome is an entirely different story, depending on if the results square with your hopes. But Minnesota’s major political parties are planning to party into Election Night no matter what.

Minnesota Republicans will gather at the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America in Bloomington to take in results. Party chairman Keith Downey said GOP volunteers won’t relax until after 8 p.m. though.

“The plan is to work literally until the polls close, driving turnout and trying to support our candidates the best we can,” he said.

The hotel ballroom has room for about 1,500 people. This year, the party is charging a $5 cover for those who attend. Downey said it’s meant to help the party, which is still digging out from past debt problems, defray its expenses for staging the event. Downey said he hasn’t heard complaints about the entry fee.

“I’ve had some people wonder why it’s not higher,” he said.

DFL Party spokeswoman Rachel Boyer said her party’s gathering at the downtown Minneapolis Hilton will be free to attend, but with a cash bar.

“You can just show up and hang out,” she said.

The DFL said it will be able to accommodate 1,600 revelers. Those in attendance will include Gov. Mark Dayton, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken as well as Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum. Congressional hopeful Angie Craig, who is in a tight race in the open 2nd District seat, will also be there.

For both political parties, some congressional candidates from greater Minnesota plan to watch the results from afar.

For people who prefer to stay closer to home, MPR News coverage will begin at 7 p.m. and continue all night.