Daily Digest: The day after

Well, that was quite an election, wasn’t it?  Let’s check the results by going to the Digest:

1. Walz defeats Johnson. DFLer Tim Walz will be Minnesota’s next governor. Walz, a U.S. House member from southern Minnesota, jumped out to an early election night lead over Republican Jeff Johnson and never looked back. In his acceptance speech, Walz said he would make jobs, access to health care and education funding his top priorities. But he said all Minnesotans would have a seat at the table as he tackles those issues. “I know that there are many Minnesotans out there who might have had a different vision of Minnesota, and I have a message for those voters tonight — I will be your governor just as much as I will be for the people in this room,” Walz told the DFL election night gathering in St. Paul. (MPR News)

2. Democrats win both U.S. Senate races. DFL U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith spent much of the fall campaign season leading their Republican opponents and both prevailed in Tuesday’s election. Klobuchar easily won re-election Tuesday night, beating Republican state Rep. Jim Newberger. Smith’s race against Republican state Sen. Karin Housley was closer, but ultimately voters chose to return Smith as well. While Smith consistently outpaced Housley in the polls, there were many voters unfamiliar with both candidates. Republicans and Democrats poured last-minute resources into the contest. In her victory speech at the DFL gathering in St. Paul, Smith noted the significance of Minnesota electing two female senators. Klobuchar joined Smith on stage. “I have talked to hundreds of people across the state about why they chose to get involved and dive in this year, and no one put it better than that first-time volunteer I talked to who said to me this — he said, “because I feel that it’s my responsibility to have a positive impact on the arc of history,'” Smith recounted. (MPR News)

3. Ellison prevails in heated AG race. Democrat Keith Ellison came out on top Tuesday in the race to be Minnesota’s next attorney general following a contentious race where both candidates had to respond to questions about their past. Ellison walked away from a safe congressional seat hoping to succeed Lori Swanson, who made a last-minute bid for governor. He prevailed in the crowded DFL primary in August. Wardlow served one term in the Minnesota House representing Eagan. He worked as a lawyer for the Alliance Defending Freedom and was criticized during the campaign for that organization’s anti-LGBT stances. Ellison’s past was also a constant issue in the campaign. Days before the primary, an ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan, went public with allegations that Ellison mistreated her emotionally and physically during their relationship. Ellison repeatedly denied Monahan’s allegations, and an attorney hired by the Minnesota DFL Party could not corroborate her account. (MPR News)

4. Minnesota races help flip U.S. House to Democratic control.  In votes with national implications, Democrats Dean Phillips and Angie Craig on Tuesday defeated Republican incumbents, flipping key seats for Democrats as they regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Phillips, a businessman whose family founded a local distillery had consistently led GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen in polling across Minnesota’s 3rd District, which covers the Twin Cities’ western suburbs. In the 2nd District, which covers the metro area south of the Twin Cities, Craig defeated Republican Rep. Jason Lewis in a rematch of a close 2016 race. Meanwhile, Republican Pete Stauber defeated Democrat Joe Radinovich in northern Minnesota’s 8th District, a rare GOP pickup in the House. (MPR News)

5. DFLers win back control of Minnesota House. Democrats on Tuesday crushed Republicans in the Twin Cities suburbs to retake control of the Minnesota House, an Election Day shift that will remake the Capitol power structure next year. DFLers gained at least 18 seats, far more than the 11 they needed to flip the House, with many coming in the Twin Cities suburbs. “Democrats had a narrow path through the suburbs in districts won by Hillary Clinton, and it appears they were able to flip those seats despite strong performances from our candidates who consistently outperformed the top of the ticket in nearly every race,” said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Zimmerman. In the Senate, one seat up for grabs went to the Republicans, ensuring the GOP’s majority in that chamber will continue. (MPR News)

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