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2012 elections preview: Minnesota voters to select winners in congressional, legislative primaries

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August 13, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional and State legislative teams

The primary season continues Tuesday with elections in Minnesota.

Voters in the North Star State will head to the polls on Tuesday to whittle down the list of congressional candidates and to shape the composition of the state Legislature. Polls are open in most locations from 7am to 8pm Central Time. Some smaller municipalities have indicated that they may stay open as late as 10pm.

Contested Primaries in Minnesota -- August 14, 2012
U.S. House
(8 seats)
State Legislature
(110 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 3 (37.5%) 23 (11%)
Total Republican Contested Primaries 5 (62.5%) 20 (10%)


U.S. Senate

United States Senate elections in Minnesota, 2012

Incumbent U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D) will try to fend off primary challenges from Dick Franson, Jack Shepard, and Darryl Stanton, while her likely Republican opponent, Kurt Bills, will square off against fellow Republicans David Carlson and Bob Carney, Jr..

U.S. House

United States House of Representatives elections in Minnesota, 2012

Democratic U.S. Representative Keith Ellison and Republican U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann are expected to win their primaries with ease.

Things are expected to get heated in Minnesota's 1st District, where Mike Parry has been jostling with Allen Quist for weeks to decide who will challenge Democratic incumbent Tim Walz in the November general election.

In Minnesota's northern 8th District, outside spending has played a large role. Duluth City Councilman Jeff Anderson faces former state senator Tarryl Clark and former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan in the primary to determine who will get a chance to unseat freshman Republican Representative Chip Cravaack.

State legislature

See also Minnesota State Senate elections, 2012 and Minnesota House of Representatives elections, 2012

In Minnesota, there are 201 total legislative seats with elections in 2012. There are 23 (11%) contested Democratic primaries and 20 (10%) contested Republican primaries. Thus, there will be 43 (11%) races tomorrow with at least two candidates on the ballot. The 11% figure of contested primaries in Minnesota is significantly lower than the current national contested average of 19.4% for states that have had filing deadlines.

There are a total of 12 incumbents facing primary opposition -- 8 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

Incumbents facing a primary opponent are:


Democratic Party District 5:Incumbent Tom Saxhaug faces a challenge from Laverne H. Pederson
Republican Party District 13: Incumbent Michelle Fischbach will face challenger Fadumo Yusuf.
Democratic Party District 17: Incumbent Lyle Koenen will try to keep his seat from challenger Larry D. Rice.
Democratic Party District 40: Freshman incumbent Chris Eaton faces a challenge from Timothy A. Davis, Sr..
Republican Party District 47: Incumbent Julianne Ortman will face Bruce R. Schwichtenberg.
Democratic Party District 64: Dick Cohen, in office since 1987, faces a challenge from Alexander H. Jeffries.
Democratic Party District 65: Incumbent Sandra Pappas faces Marcus Walker.


Democratic Party District 7A: Incumbent Thomas Huntley is challenged by Brandon Clokey.
Democratic Party District 11B: Incumbent Tim Faust will face Nathan Johnson.
Republican Party District 33B: Steve Smith faces challenger Cindy Pugh.
Republican Party District 37B: Torey Hall will challenge incumbent Tim Sanders.
Democratic Party District 59A: Marcus Harcus is challenging longtime incumbent Joe Mullery.

Minnesota House of Representatives
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 61 73
     Republican Party 72 61
     Vacancy 1 0
Total 134 134

Minnesota State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 30 39
     Republican Party 37 28
Total 67 67

See also

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External links