Republicans take two special elections

Republican candidates won special elections Tuesday in two Minnesota legislative districts.

The GOP majority in the Minnesota House grew by one seat when voters in Bloomington favored Chad Anderson over DFL candidate Andrew Carlson in District 50B. Anderson fills the vacancy created by the resignation of longtime DFL Rep. Ann Lenczewski.

Voters in Anoka County picked Republican Jim Abeler, a former state representative, to fill the vacancy in Senate District 35. Republican Sen. Branden Petersen resigned his seat last fall. Abeler easily defeated DFL candidate Roger Johnson and Zachary Phelps from the Legal Marijuana Now party.

Both special election winners will face voters again this fall, when all 201 legislative seats are on the ballot.