10:14 p.m. – Rep. Jim Abeler has won re-election. He is one of the targeted Republicans (by Republicans) who were punished for voting to override Gov. Pawlenty’s veto of the increase in the gas tax. The seat of another Republican who was run out of office by her own party — Kathy Tingelstad — has fallen to Democrats.
Republicans had hoped to make hay out of the outrage over the increase in the gas tax. So far it hasn’t worked, although a couple of races may go their way. In District 56B, Republicans ran a merciless campaign against Rep. Marsha Swails over the vote, and the DFL did little to help her.
She’s trailing in her race so far. Swails is now leading her race.
10:22 p.m. – The DFL has lost District 51A. It was an open seat and that was a “yes” gas tax vote.
10:41 a.m. – Aaron Peterson’s DFL seat is in danger of falling to the GOP. The DFL is up by 100 votes in the open seat race.
10:43 p.m. – Rep. Rod Hamilton, one of the GOP’s “override six” wins re-election .
10:52 p.m. The lone House seat in the hands of an African American in Minnesota will stay in the hands of an African American. Jeff Hayden wins Minneapolis Rep. Neva Walker’s seat over Green Party candidate Farheen Hakeem.
10:57 p.m. – Forty-eight House races have been decided. The DFL has picked up a net gain of one seat (Two seats went GOP to DFL; One went GOP to DFL)
11:27 p.m. – The first “Override Sixer” falls. Rep. Ron Erhardt falls to Republican Keith Downley. Erhardt was running as an Independent.
11:34 p.m. With half the vote in Rep. Frank Moe’s DFL seat is tilting Republican. John Persell is trying to hold onto the Bemidji seat for the DFL. It’s early in that race.
11:39 p.m. Override Six seat of former Rep. Bud Heidgerken stays Republican. Paul Anderson wins the seat easily.
11:41 p.m. – There’s only one Override Six seat left. District 41B where Rep. Neil Peterson lost in the primary. The DFLer and GOPer are separated by just 115 votes with half the vote counted. Slight edge to the DFL.
12:11 a.m. – Incumbent DFLer Shelley Madore loses her District 37A seat (Apple Valley) to GOP challenger Tara Mack. She is the first DFLer to vote for the gas tax to lose her seat to the GOP tonight.
12:16 a.m. Rep. Marsha Swails retains her District 56B seat rather easily as it turned out. Julie Bunn retained her seat in District 56A. Is Woodbury losing its reputation as a GOP stronghold?
12:36 a.m. – Still 25% of the vote is out, but District 41B is looking like it will go to the DFL.That’s Neil Peterson’s seat, the final member of the Overrride Six, who lost in the primary. So the GOP’s targeting of its own party cost it two seats to the DFL.
12:37 a.m. – That’s it for me for tonight. We’ll pick it up in the morning.