Good morning, and welcome to the first day of the general election campaign. Lots of people voted in the primary yesterday. Let’s check the Digest to see who they chose.
1. Johnson upsets Pawlenty; Walz claims DFL nomination for governor. Tim Walz, a congressman from Minnesota’s 1st District, beat two other challengers in the DFL primary election for governor, while Jeff Johnson, the Republican-endorsed candidate for governor, pulled out a surprise upset over former two-term Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Walz said he was humbled by the win and thanked his supporters. “We believe in a state where we can come together around our shared values to address our diverse needs,” he said. “We believe in One Minnesota. And tonight’s victory shows that hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans do too.” Johnson maintained a steady lead over Pawlenty all evening and called state government “arrogant and broken.” “We will change the culture in St.Paul from that of controlling and directing Minnesotans to actually serving the people who pay our salaries,” he said. “Minnesotans will have more money in their pockets, and less government bureaucracy in their lives. For Pawlenty, who raised much more money than Johnson, the defeat marked a definitive end of his political career. “This is the era of Trump and I don’t fit into that very well,” Pawlenty said after his concession. “We knew the ground had shifted, but I think we thought there was still a reservoir of support from Pawlenty supporters we could draw upon to win this thing. But that turned out not to be the case.” (MPR News)
2. Omar wins DFL nomination in 5th; Smith and Housley to contend for Senate seat. State Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, handily defeated her closest challenger in the 5th Congressional District, former state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher. Because the district votes so heavily DFL, she is poised to make history by becoming the first Somali-American elected to Congress. “Together we can organize around the politics of hope and make sure that not only did we have the America we believed in but the America we deserve,” Omar told her supporters in Minneapolis Tuesday night. As the first Somali-American elected to a state legislature, Omar referenced her childhood and her hope for the future. “I talked about what my win would have meant for that 8-year-old girl in that refugee camp, and today, today I still think about her and I think about the kind of hope and optimism all of those 8-year-olds around the country and world get from seeing your beautiful faces elect and believe in someone like me.” Meanwhile, Sen. Tina Smith withstood an attempt by Richard Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota, to deny her a chance to hang onto the seat to which she was appointed after the resignation of U.S. Sen. Al Franken. The endorsed Republican candidate in the special election contest, Karin Housley, is a state senator from St. Marys Point who started a real estate business. She won with about 62 percent of the vote. Her primary challenger, Bob Anderson, a dental technician from Hastings, was pulling about 35 percent. (MPR News)
3. Ellison and Wardlow will face off for attorney general. Keith Ellison easily bested four other challengers in the DFL primary for attorney general and will face former state Rep. Doug Wardlow, the GOP-endorsed candidate, in November. With more than 90 percent of precincts reporting, Ellison garnered just over half of all DFL votes in the primary election, which had high voter turnout. Wardlow grabbed 46 percent of the Republican votes over two opponents to win that contest. Ellison’s campaign was rocked by allegations over the weekend of domestic violence amid a broader national outcry against sexual misconduct by powerful men in business, entertainment and politics. “We had a very unexpected event at the end of this campaign that happened. I want to assure you that it is not true. And we are going to keep on fighting all the way through, Ellison told supporters. Wardlow, of Eagan, is an attorney who served one term in the Minnesota House. “I think it’s important to have an attorney general who’s going to stand up for the rule of law and enforce all of our laws and not pick and choose,” he said. “That means that we need to restore public safety, rebuild the criminal law division of the office and lift the burden of regulation off of job creators as well.” (MPR News)
4. Radinovich will face Stauber in CD8. In a five-way primary to decide the 8th Congressional District Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee for November, Joe Radinovich always seemed to present the straightest line to election victory. Late Tuesday, Radinovich delivered on his promise and clinched a surprisingly effortless primary victory — one that lands him in a midterm showdown with another primary runaway winner, GOP nominee Pete Stauber of Hermantown. Armed with the most campaign money, the only television exposure and a bevy of special interest support, Radinovich had his face and message in constant display in voters’ mailboxes and on their cable TV screens. The exposure proved better than the door-to-door strategy of the rest of the candidates, as Radinovich worked on garnering almost 44 percent of the total DFL primary vote. “We’re going to stand up and speak out against the bad ideas that hurt the middle class,” Radinovich boomed. “We’re going to stand up for the things that build the middle class.” (Duluth News Tribune)