Minnesota Senate seat sees first competitive election for over 30 years
By David Godow
Tomorrow, residents of south Minneapolis will choose a new Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL, the state Democratic Party) candidate for the Minnesota Senate's District 61 for the first time since 1980. The seat had been occupied by long-time Dem stalwart Linda Berglin, who was first elected the same day Ronald Reagan won his first term as president, until her resignation at the end of July. Berglin's departure after 30 years of service has triggered an unusual odd-year special election; senators are traditionally elected in years ending in 0, 2, and 6.
The first election after the departure of a 30-year incumbent could spur dreams of a competitive, tightly contested race, but it seems the seat might already be locked up. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported on Sunday that State Rep. Jeff Hayden has picked up "all the key endorsements" for the DFL primary on Tuesday. Hayden's five opponents lack his name recognition and political experience, suggesting he will have an easy time assuming Linda Berglin's mantle.
If Hayden does claim the primary, he is almost certain to win the seat in the October 18 general election given District 61's strong Democratic lean.
- HometownSource.com, "Senate Districts 46 and 61 special elections to be held Oct. 18; candidate filing begins July 27," July 26, 2011
- Though senators legally serve four year terms, the first senatorial term of each decade lasts only two years. This puts the full chamber up for election immediately after redistricting is completed during years ending in 1. See also: Minnesota State Senate.