With the conclusion of the August 9 primary, the DFL and Republican ballots are set for the November 8 general election. Every constitutional officer and all 201 seats in legislature will be on the ballot along with the eight congressional seats.
The primary results for the constitutional officers are in the chart below. The only primary that was seriously contended was the Republican attorney general race where endorsed candidate Jim Schultz was challenged by Doug Wardlow, the 2018 GOP endorsed candidate. The endorsement proved enough for Schultz to edge Wardlow in the primary by a 52%-34% margin.
Italics denote candidates endorsed at Party Conventions
|Govenor/Lt. Govenor||Tim Walz/Peggy Flanagan
|Scott Jensen/Matt Birk
|Secretary of State||Steve Simon
|Attorney General||Keith Ellison
|State Auditor||Julie Blaha*||Ryan Wilson*|
*Both Blaha and Wilson were not on the primary ballot as nobody else filed to challenge them.
Incumbent U.S. Representatives Angie Craig (2nd District-DFL), Dean Phillips (3rd District-DFL), Tom Emmer (6th District-Republican), Michelle Fischbach (7th District-Republican) and Pete Stauber (8th District-Republican) all will be on the general election ballot in November.
Key Congressional Races
U.S. Representative Betty McCollum was challenged by political newcomer Amane Badhasso but beat Badhasso handily 83% to 15%.
U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar beat back a well-funded challenge from former Minneapolis City Councilmember Don Samuels by a 50%-48% margin in a race that was much closer than many anticipated.
The 1st Congressional District held a special general election to fill the remaining five months of the term of the late U.S. Representative Jim Hagedorn who died in office. This special election occurred in the pre-2022 boundaries of the 1st Congressional District. At the same time, within the new 2022 redistricted boundaries, a primary election was held to see who would appear on the general election ballot on November 8th. Republican Brad Finstad defeated DFLer Jeff Ettinger by a 51% – 47% margin to fill the remainder of Hagedorn’s term. While in the primary election within the new district boundaries, Finstad defeated Jeremy Munson 76% – 24% and Ettinger easily won his uncontested primary.
State House and Senate
A new redistricting map along with challenges from the left in the DFL party and right in the GOP party meant there were many contentious primaries. Well-known incumbents in both parties faced serious challenges. The results from the key primaries are in the chart below.
The Senate GOP was seen as especially vulnerable given the number of well-organized primary challengers to incumbent Republicans. In the end, the GOP Senate incumbents had a successful night, winning all but one race in an open seat.
On the Democratic side, the race to watch was in Senate District 56 (Rosemount, Apple Valley), where Erin Maye-Quade handily beat the DFL-endorsed candidate, Justin Emmerich. Maye-Quade was previously the DFL-endorsed Lt. Governor candidate in 2018, but lost in the gubernatorial primary. Longtime incumbent Sandy Pappas also handily won the primary as well, turning away two challengers.
There were a number of GOP challengers to sitting legislators in various House seats, but all the incumbent Republicans prevailed. On the DFL side, challenger Liz Lee defeated John Thompson, who had been the subject of much controversy during his first term in the House. Two races in the suburbs featured sitting legislators who were re-districted into the same district. Steve Elkins defeated Andrew Carlson in Bloomington and Liz Reyer defeated Sandy Masin in Eagan.
*denotes Party endorsed candidate
(i) denotes incumbent
Key Senate Republican Primaries
|Mark Johnson (i)*||86%|
|Paul Utke (i)||57%|
|Jeff Howe (i)*||86%|
|Gary Dahms (i)*||92%|
|Bill Weber (i)*||77%|
|Eric Pratt (i)||54%|
Key Senate DFL Primaries
|Erin Maye Quade||65%|
|Todd C. Scott||32%|
|Sandy Pappas (i)*||66%|
Key House Republican Primaries
|Josh Heintzeman (i)*||80%|
|Ron Kresha (i)*||74%|
|Greg Davids (i)*||76%|
|Laura H. Thorson||24%|
|Erik Mortensen (i)*||55%|
Key House DFL Primaries
|Andrew Carlson (i)||39%|
|Steve Elkins (i)||61%|
|Liz Reyer (i)*||61%|
|Sandra Masin (i)||39%|
|Aisha Gomez (i)*||69%|
|John Thompson (i)||11%|
It is somewhat difficult to paint a sweeping narrative to describe the results of the primary. The Action for Liberty organization that had a number of candidates run to the right of sitting Senate Republicans had a few wins, but overall lost more than they won. Similarly, it is hard to draw broad conclusions from the results that a major push occurred related to an issue, like inflation, crime, or recent Supreme Court rulings.
What is clear is the general election campaign has begun.