ICBM gears up for community bank advocacy

While a “blue wave” didn’t sweep the country at the federal level as some predicted, Democrats secured all but the Minnesota Senate on election day. 

Both Democratic, incumbent Senators handily won reelection. Five-term U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (District 3 – Plymouth, Eden Prairie and Rogers) lost to Democrat Dean Phillips by a wide margin. Freshman U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (District 2 – Belle Plaine, Prior Lake, Northfield, Red Wing and Wabasha) also lost his rematch with DFL challenger Angie Craig. 

With a strong showing in the metro area, Democrats ran the table on statewide races. Democrat Tim Walz defeated Republican Jeff Johnson by 12 percentage points. Democrats also won all other statewide races, including the cliffhanger attorney general race between Democrat Keith Ellison and Republican Doug Wardlow.

These victories were accompanied by success throughout the suburbs for Democrats at the state legislative level. 

House Republicans held a 77-57 majority going into this election. DFLers now control the Minnesota House in the next biennium, having picked up 18 seats. 

Democrats’ new house seats came from victories over Republican incumbents in all the 12 districts that went to Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016. 

They were: 

ICBM President/CEO Jim Amundson (left) congratulates Governor-Elect Tim Walz.

Cindy Pugh* vs. Kelly Morrison (Dist. 33B: Mound, Shorewood, Excelsior, Chanhassen)
Dennis Smith* vs. Kristin Bahner (Dist. 34B: Maple Grove)
Randy Jessup* vs. Kelly Moller (Dist. 42A: Arden Hills, Shoreview)
Sarah Anderson* vs. Ginny Klevorn (Dist. 44A: Plymouth)
Jenifer Loon* vs. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (Dist. 48B: Eden Prairie)
Dario Anselmo* vs. Heather Edelson (Dist. 49A: Edina)
Regina Barr* vs. Ruth Richardson (Dist. 52B: Inver Grove Heights, Mendota Heights)
Kelly Fenton* vs. Steve Sandell (Dist. 53B: Woodbury)
Keith Franke* vs. Anne Claflin (Dist. 54A: St. Paul Park, Cottage Grove)
Drew Christensen* vs. Hunter Cantrell (Dist. 56A: Savage, Burnsville)
Roz Peterson* vs. Alice Mann (Dist. 56B: Burnsville, Lakeville)
Anna Wills* vs. John Huot (Dist. 57B: Rosemount, Apple Valley)

The closest race in the state was in Minnesota House District 5A (Bemidji, Walker, and Hackensack), where incumbent Republican Rep. Matt Bliss lost to former DFL legislator John Persell by just 4 votes. District 5A is considered a “pivot” district, having voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016. Under state law, this race will be subject to an automatic recount.

In rural Minnesota, political fortunes were somewhat more favorable for the GOP. In the 8th Congressional District (the Arrowhead region and much of the Iron Range), Republican Pete Stauber defeated Democrat Joe Radinovich by a five-point margin. Republican Jim Hagedorn defeated Democrat Dan Feehan by about 1,500 votes in Congressional District 1 (Rochester, Faribault, Mankato and Albert Lea).

Another victory for Minnesota Republicans was the state Senate special election in District 13 (St. Cloud), which had the potential to flip control of that body to Democrats. Democrat Joe Perske lost to Rep. Jeff Howe, and the Senate will gavel in next session with a continued 34 R – 33 DFL margin.

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