2012 elections review: One incumbents defeated in Minnesota primaries

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August 15, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional and State legislative teams

The primary season continued Tuesday with elections in Minnesota.

Voters in the North Star State whittled down the list of congressional candidates and shaped the composition of the state Legislature. Polls were open in most locations from 7am to 8pm Central Time.

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) handily beat challengers Dick Franson, Jack Shepard, and Darryl Stanton in the Democratic primary. Kurt Bills, her Republican rival in the November general election, prevailed over David Carlson and Bob Carney, Jr. in the Republican primary.

Three other third-party candidates will be competing for the Senate seat in November: Stephen Williams of the Independence Party, Timothy Davis, a grassroots candidate, and Michael Cavlan, a Minnesota Open Progressives candidate.

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 both sailed through their primaries yesterday.

Former state representative Allen Quist bested his primary opponent Mike Parry with 54% of the vote in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District. Quist will go head to head against Democratic incumbent Tim Walz in the November general election.

In Minnesota's northern 8th District, former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan captured the Democratic nomination by winning 38% of the vote against 32% for Tarryl Clark and 29% for Duluth City Councilman Jeff Anderson. Nolan will square off against freshman Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack in November.

In the 2nd District, Republican incumbent John Kline fended off a primary challenge from David Gerson. In the 3rd, fellow Republican Erik Paulsen beat John W. Howard III in the primary. Democratic incumbent Betty McCollum vanquished Diana Longrie and Brian Stalboerger in the primary with 84% of the vote.

State legislature

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

In Minnesota, there were 201 total legislative seats with elections in 2012. There were 23 (11%) contested Democratic primaries and 20 (10%) contested Republican primaries. Thus, there were 43 (11%) races 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 were a total of 12 incumbents facing primary opposition -- 8 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

Incumbents facing a primary opponent were:


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


Democratic Party District 7A: Incumbent Thomas Huntley was challenged by Brandon Clokey, and survived unscathed.
Democratic Party District 11B: Incumbent Tim Faust defeated Nathan Johnson.
Republican Party District 33B: Steve Smith was defeated by Cindy Pugh. Smith was the only incumbent to lose last night.
Republican Party District 37B: Torey Hall lost to incumbent Tim Sanders.
Democratic Party District 59A: Marcus Harcus was defeated by 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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