An early look at 2012 races for Minnesota Senate

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November 29, 2011

By Greg Janetka


MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota: Although the redistricting process has as of yet failed to produce new legislative district maps, a handful of next year's races for state Senate have already begun to take shape. Republicans currently hold a 7 seat majority in the chamber - a majority they won in the 2010 elections. With all 67 seats up for election, however, that could change once again.

Minnesota State Senate
Party As of November 1, 2010 After the 2010 Election
     Democratic Party 46 30
     Republican Party 21 37
Total 67 67
Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 39
     Republican Party 28
Total 67

Candidates have until June 5 to file to run in the August 14 primary. The general election will take place on November 6. Here is a list of some of the races which have started to form:

  • District 23: Republican challenger Chris Cousins announced plans to run for the seat currently held by Kathy Sheran (DFL). However, Cousins does not live in the current district and is hoping redistricting will move him into the new District 23.[1]
  • District 25: Former state Sen. Kevin Dahle announced he would be running to "reclaim a voice for the people of SD25."[2] Dahle held the seat from 2008 until 2010, when he lost the general election to Republican Al DeKruif by less than 3 percent of the vote.
  • District 43: Republican challenger Norann Dillon is once again seeking to unseat incumbent Terri Bonoff (DFL). In the 2010 election Dillon lost by less than 4 percentage points.[1]
  • District 57: Republican challenger Karin Housley is running for the chance to take on incumbent Katie Sieben for the second time. In 2010, Housley narrowly lost to Sieben 50.94% to 48.98%.[1]
  • District 58: Veteran Sen. Linda Higgins (DFL) announced earlier this month that she would not seek re-election. “I’ve been honored to serve the residents of North and Downtown Minneapolis for 15 years. I’m proud of what we have accomplished, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to serve our community,” she said.[3] The following day, state Rep. Bobby Joe Champion (DFL) announced he would run for the seat. He was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2008.


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