Same-sex marriage vote little factor for GOP lawmakers

In the aftermath of yesterday’s election, it’s still impossible to say for sure whether there was a political price to pay for Republican lawmakers in Minnesota who voted for a 2013 bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

Of the four Republican members of the House who voted for the bill, two are out. But none were voted out.

Last night, Rep. Jenifer Loon easily won re-election in Eden Prairie, and it wasn’t close.

Loon had a challenge in the August primary, but it was no contest. She easily beat challenger Sheila Kihne with almost 61 percent of votes cast with terrible turnout. If many voters were upset over the vote, there was no evidence of it.

In Farmington, Rep. Pat Garofalo returns to the Legislature in a breeze.

The two other Republican members of the House weren’t on the ballot. In Woodbury, Andrea Kieffer didn’t run for re-election. Her seat stays red with Kelly Fenton cruising to a win. The same-sex marriage vote didn’t come up in the campaign that focused on economic and transportation issues in the purple city.

The only casualty of the vote was Rep. David FitzSimmons, R-Albertville, who decided to withdraw from the race just as delegates were poised to endorse Eric Lucero, who had campaigned against FitzSimmons largely on the strength of the 2013 vote.

But there’s an argument to be made, considering President Obama still had coat tails in 2012, that FitzSimmons’ victory in 2012 was more impressive than Lucero’s in 2014 against the same candidate.

The only Republican in the Minnesota Senate to vote for same-sex marriage wasn’t up for re-election this year.

It may have been a gutsy move for a few Republicans to stand up to the party platform last year when they voted to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota; that’s the way many analysts saw it, anyway. But maybe they knew their voters better than some analysts did.

  • kevinfromminneapolis

    Fitz was probably better known and more established in the district than his successor.