House Flips to DFL Control—Walz Lands Decisive Victory
Once again, Minnesota voters rocked the boat and delivered some surprises on election night. Most surprising was a clear and decisive victory for the Minnesota House DFL Caucus. House DFL'ers captured 18 new seats and ran the table in the Twin Cities suburbs. The House DFL picked up a number of suburban seats that not long ago were considered safe Republican seats. When they return in January 2019, the House DFL will hold a 75 to 59 majority and will include 32 freshman legislators.
On balance, Minnesota will be a divided government. The Minnesota Senate will remain in Republican control. Republican Representative Jeff Howe handily won a special election last evening, keeping the Minnesota Senate under Republican control by a narrow 34-33 margin.
U. S. Congressman Tim Walz (CD–1) easily defeated his Republican opponent Jeff Johnson to win the race to be Minnesota's next governor.
The following is a brief rundown of last night's results. We will be providing you a deeper analysis of the 2018 general election in the coming days.
Tim Walz defeated Jeff Johnson by more than 10 points to become Minnesota's next governor, earning more votes in the state than Hilary Clinton in 2016 or Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014. The DFL gubernatorial victory means one party will hold the office for more than two consecutive terms for the first time in decades.
MN Attorney General
It's not often that a state Attorney General race gets national coverage, but the glaring distinctions between candidates Keith Ellison and Doug Wardlow drew a lot of attention. Ellison, a Democrat and sitting Congressman in Minnesota's 5th District, is also the second in command for the Democratic National Committee, a practicing Muslim and in the midst of domestic abuse accusations. Wardlow, on the other hand, is a former Republican legislator known for his staunchly conservative views on social issues. Polling favored Wardlow in the last weeks of the election, but Ellison was named the victor last night. This race saw more split tickets than any of the other statewide races, with Wardlow a closer second than other Republicans.
MN Secretary of State & State Auditor
Steve Simon was reelected as Secretary of State by a nine-point margin over John Howe, a substantially larger margin than his two-point win in 2014. Julie Blaha defeated Pam Myhra by six points to become Minnesota's next State Auditor, replacing Rebecca Otto.
MN House of Representatives
Under the leadership of Rep. Melissa Hortman, many of the seats the DFL flipped were in the Twin Cities suburbs. The House DFL flipped 18 seats Tuesday night, taking the majority of the State House by a margin of 75–59. Of the 75 members of the new majority caucus, 32 will be freshmen. In the coming days and weeks the new majority caucus will determine their leadership, including Speaker of the House and Majority Leader, along with chairmanship of committees.
MN Senate Special Election
Republican Jeff Howe easily beat DFL challenger Joe Perske in the Senate District 13 contest to fill the seat vacated by Senator Michelle Fischbach. More than 5,000 voters preferred Howe than Perske in the area that stretches around the western edges of St Cloud in central Minnesota. Howe's victory in the lone Senate race keeps the GOP in control by the same one-seat margin. Minnesota is the only state with divided control of their state legislature.
For more information on any of the results from yesterday's state-wide races, please visit the MN Secretary of State website.