Primary election roundup: Dibble defeats Roche in DFL fight

Scott Dibble, the freshman District 60B state representative who is hoping to make the quick leap to the Senate, easily survived a challenge from former Massachusetts Rep. Rick Roche in the Sept. 10 primary.

In an unusual state Senate primary featuring metro-wide TV ads from Roche, Dibble outpolled Roche 5,830 votes to 1,061, an 85 percent to 15 percent margin.

According to the state Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, Roche spent $15,375 on the campaign as of Aug. 19; however, most of his TV ads accusing Dibble of favoring stadium financing aired after that date, driving his expenses higher. Dibble spent $14,778 as of Aug. 19, the latest available date for expenditures.

Roche did not give a specific figure for the amount of money he spent during the entire primary campaign, saying only that he thinks he spent about the same amount as Dibble.

The Green Party’s Nick Granath, a former Plymouth City Councilmember, spent $205 by Aug. 19, and collected 273 votes running unopposed in the primary. There is no GOP or Independence candidate in the race.

Granath now will face Dibble in the Nov. 5 general election.

The winner in that contest will take over the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Myron Orfield. Senate District 60 covers Bryn Mawr, Lowry Hill, Lowry Hill East, East Isles, Kenwood, CIDNA, West Calhoun, ECCO, CARAG, East Harriet, Linden Hills, Tangletown, Fulton and parts of Lyndale, Kingfield and Lynnhurst.

In other primary elections of note to Southwest Minneapolis:

House District 60A

DFL incumbent Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Republican challenger Noah Rouen, running unopposed, received 2,513 votes and 392 votes respectively. The district covers Bryn Mawr, Lowry Hill, Lowry Hill East, East Isles, Kenwood, CIDNA and parts of Lyndale and CARAG.

House District 60B

DFL activist and Metropolitan Council member Frank Hornstein, running unopposed through the general election, received 3,292 votes for the seat being vacated by Dibble. District 60B covers West Calhoun, Linden Hills, Fulton, ECCO, East Harriet, Tangletown and parts of CARAG, Lyndale, Kingfield and Lynnhurst.

Senate District 61

The three major-party candidates were unopposed. Incumbent DFL Sen. Linda Berglin received 2,326 votes, while Republican Steve Braa reeled in 337 votes, and Green Party candidate Luverne Turner received 259. District 61 covers Whittier and parts of Lyndale and Kingfield.

House District 61A

DFL incumbent Rep. Karen Clark received 861 votes running unopposed in the primary. Republican Kevin Trainor, also unopposed in the primary, received 190 votes. District 61A covers most of the Whittier neighborhood.

House District 61B

Three candidates ran unopposed in their respective parties. Incumbent DFLer Neva Walker received 1,404 votes, while GOP candidate Andy Lindberg got 149 votes, and the Green Party’s Robert W. Anderson garnered 58 votes. The district includes parts of the Whittier, Lyndale, Kingfield, Fuller and Windom neighborhoods.

Senate District 62

Four candidates ran unopposed within their parties. DFLer Wes Skoglund, currently the District 62A representative, received 4,782 votes, while Republican Kelly Bailey took home 1,186 votes, Independence Party candidate Tim Sullivan got 266 votes, and the Green Party’s Holle Brian took 400 votes. Incumbent Sen. Julie Sabo is running for lieutenant governor on the DFL ticket with Roger Moe. District 62 covers part of the Windom neighborhood, but liesmostly in southeast Minneapolis.

House District 62B

DFL incumbent Rep. Jean Wagenius, running unopposed, garnered 2,260 votes. Republican Ron Moey received 771 votes. The district covers part of the Windom neighborhood, but lies mostly in southeast Minneapolis.

Senate District 63

DFL incumbent Rep. Jane Ranum captured 3,268 votes running unopposed in her party. Republican and Bloomington City Councilmember Vern Wilcox, also unopposed, got 1,776 votes. Former DFL Rep. Edwina Garcia, competing as the sole Independence Party candidate, received 338 votes. District 63 covers Armatage, Kenny and parts of Lynnhurst and Windom, as well as Richfield and part of Bloomington.

House District 63A

Newcomer DFLer Paul Thissen, who beat out incumbent Rep. Mark Gleason for the party endorsement, was unopposed and received 1,980 votes. Republican Tim Erlander had a comparatively strong showing, gaining 1,107 votes as the unopposed GOP candidate, while sole Independence Party candidate Ron Lischeid took in 160 votes. District 63A covers Armatage, Kenny and parts of Lynnhurst and Windom.

School Board

Voters whittled the 12-person field down to the required eight candidates for the general election.

Judy Farmer topped vote-getters with 16,392, followed by fellow DFL endorsees Audrey Johnson with 11,743 votes, Colleen Moriarty with 11,474 votes and Joseph A. Erickson with 8,582 votes.

Also qualifying were Lucky Rosenbloom, 4,533 votes, Stephanie Gaynor, 4,150 votes, La Shella Sims, 3,728 votes and Doug Mann, 3,478 votes.

Candidates Charlene McAdory, Michael Atherton, Denis B. Murphy and Justin Bacon failed to make the cut.

Voters in Southwest had a disproportionate role in selecting school board nominees. Of the 32,869 voters who cast ballots, 11,710 of them — 36 percent — came from Southwest Minneapolis, according to unofficial tallies from the city of Minneapolis, but Southwest has 27 percent of the city’s population.