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Minnesota Primary Election Report

August 11, 2010

In this issue:
Minnesota Primary Election – Dayton Wins DFL Endorsement
Almost sixteen hours after the polls had officially closed, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher this morning conceded the race for the DFL endorsement for Governor to former United States Senator Mark Dayton. The margin of victory for Dayton, with 99% of the vote counted, was approximately 5,000 votes. Dayton will face Republican candidate Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner in the November general election.
Although Kelliher took the early lead with strong support in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Dayton was able to pull ahead with his support from Duluth and the Iron Range. Former Representative Matt Entenza, after spending $5 million of his own money in the campaign, ended up with 18% of the primary vote.
It has been 24 years since a DFLer was elected as Minnesota Governor and the Dayton-Emmer contest provides a clear choice between a conservative candidate and a liberal candidate. Dayton has made an increase in state income tax rates a hallmark of his primary campaign while Emmer has opposed income tax increases and supported a reduction in the state budget to solve the State’s projected $6 billion deficit for the next biennium.
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner, a former staff person to Republican United States Senator David Durenberger, presents a middle road between Dayton and Emmer. However, he faces a significant challenge in raising the funds necessary to wage an effective general election contest.

Legislative Races
On the legislative side, two incumbent state Senators were defeated in primary elections. Senator Paul Koering, the only openly gay Republican member of the State Senate, was defeated by former State Representative Paul Gazelka. The incumbent Chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Satveer Chaudhary, was defeated by former State Representative Barb Goodwin. Chaudhary had been reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee for legislation he sponsored potentially benefitting lake property that he owns.
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