Minneapolis voters appear to have set a record for turnout in a midterm primary, with an unofficial tally of 93,534 ballots cast in the Aug. 14 election, according to the city’s Election & Voter Services Division.
In the governor’s race, the DFL ticket of Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan is set to face off against Republicans Jeff Johnson and Donna Bergstrom after each prevailed in their respective primaries. Unofficial results from the Minnesota Secretary of State showed Walz taking 242,832 votes (41.6 percent) from DFLers statewide, beating runner-up Erin Murphy by nearly 56,000 votes, while Johnson won 168,841 votes (52.6) from Republicans, defeating former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who took 140,743 votes in an attempt to win back his old job.
Johnson’s victory was noted by President Donald Trump, who on the morning after the primary tweeted his congratulations and his “complete and total endorsement.” Walz, meanwhile, said he was “humbled” to be his party’s candidate.
“We believe in a state where we can come together around our shared values to address our diverse needs,” Walz said in a statement. “We believe when the Twin Cities thrive, Greater Minnesota thrives — and when Greater Minnesota thrives, the Twin Cities thrive.”
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar cruised to victory in a five-way DFL primary and will face the GOP’s Jim Newberger in November. DFLer Tina Smith, appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton to fill the seat once held by Al Franken, advanced to the November special election where she will face Republican Karin Housley.
In other statewide races, primary voters advanced attorney general candidates Keith Ellison of the DFL and Doug Wardlow of the GOP. Ellison is leaving his Fifth District seat in Congress, and vying to replace him are DFLer Ilhan Omar and Republican Jennifer Zielinski, who won their respective primaries.
Omar is in turn leaving her District 60B seat in the Minnesota House, which includes University of Minnesota area and Marcy-Holmes neighborhood, as well as Nicollet Island. Advancing to the general election in that race are Joseph Patino for the GOP and Mohamud Noor for the DFL.
In strongly left-leaning District 62A, which includes parts of South and Southwest Minneapolis, a tight race to succeed retiring Rep. Karen Clark was won by Hodan Hassan with 2,207 votes (28.4 percent). Hassan will face Republican Bruce Lundeen in November.
In another district that is likely to remain DFL-controlled, Aisha Gomez won an uncontested DFL primary to succeed retiring 62B Rep. Susan Allen. Facing off against Gomez in November will be Rondald Peterson, who took 196 votes (67.8 percent) in the Republican primary. 62B also includes a mix of South and Southwest neighborhoods.
Irene Fernando (9,577 votes; 33.2 percent) and Blong Yang (7,593 votes; 26.3 percent) were the top two vote-getters in the five-way race for the nonpartisan District 2 Hennepin County Board seat and will advance to the general election. Hennepin County District 4 voters advanced incumbent Peter McLaughlin (16,122 votes; 45.4 percent) and Angela Conley (14,976 votes; 42.2 percent).
The primary also narrowed the race for county sheriff to two from three candidates, advancing incumbent Rich Stanek (99,431 votes; 49.2 percent) and challenger Dave Hutch (69,899 votes; 34.6 percent).
Minneapolis voters also advanced four at-large School Board candidates to the general election.
Kimberly Caprini, Rebecca Gagnon, Josh Pauly and Sharon El-Amin were the top-four vote-getters in the five-candidate primary. The four will vie for two open at-large School Board seats on Election Day.
Caprini, an active parent, was the top vote-getter with 36,113 votes (29.9 percent), followed by Gagnon, a two-term incumbent, with 26,390 votes (21.8 percent). Pauly, a former MPS teacher, was third with 25,071 votes (20.8 percent), followed by El-Amin, who’s also an active parent, with 24,912 votes (20.6 percent). A fifth candidate, Doug Mann, received 8,355 votes (6.9 percent) and was eliminated.
Minneapolis has nine School Board members, including six elected from districts and three serving at-large. Up to two candidates can be on the general-election ballot for each seat in districts that hold a primary, such as Minneapolis.
Voters in districts 1, 3 and 5, all on the eastern half of Minneapolis, will also elect board members in November. Incumbents Jenny Arneson, Siad Ali and Nelson Inz are each unopposed in their bids for re-election to those seats.