From rookie politicians vying for open seats to incumbent duels, candidates for the Minnesota Legislature squared off in the primary election on Tuesday.
A number of House and Senate seats in the Metro East fielded primaries that will set the stage for November’s general election.
At 9:45 p.m., a longtime Dakota County incumbent had fallen and a controversial St. Paul lawmaker was trailing a candidate for the first time.
The winners qualify for the November 8 general election, when every seat in the Legislative Assembly will be on the ballot following a once-a-decade reshaping of political boundaries after the census.
House 52A DFL: Rep Liz Reyer defeats Rep Sandra Masin
Reyer easily ousted Masin by a 61% to 19% margin, with all precincts reporting.
The two longtime DFL allies clashed after Reyer returned to the West Eagan district-northeast of Burnsville where she had lived for 25 years rather than run against another DFL House member. Masin had already announced that she was running for an eighth term.
Reyer will face Republican Fern Smith in November.
Senate 56 DFL: Erin Maye Quade defeats Justin Emmerich
With 23 of the 24 constituencies reported, Maye Quade held an insurmountable lead, 65% to 35%, at 9:45 p.m.
The primary covering Apple Valley and Rosemount drew attention in May when, at the party’s endorsement convention, Maye Quade went into active labor, prompting her to retire and go to hospital .
Maye Quade will be Republican Jim Bean in the November 8 general election.
House 67A DFL: Rep John Thompson loses to Liz Lee
By 10 p.m., Lee had gone in the lead. With four of the 11 precincts reported, Lee had about 91% of the vote to Thompson’s 9%.
First-time candidate Lee won the DFL’s endorsement in his bid to oust Thompson, a controversial lawmaker who was kicked out of the DFL House caucus by his peers last year after police reports surfaced. surfaced in which women accused Thompson of violence in multiple jurisdictions before he was elected. He was never convicted of domestic violence and he denied the abuse allegations.
The winner will face Republican Beverly Peterson in November in the heavily Democratic district representing the East Side.
House 65B DFL: Maria Isa Pérez-Hedges directs Anna Botz
By 10 p.m., Pérez-Hedges held a solid lead. With six of the 12 precincts reported, Pérez-Hedges received 71% of the vote.
Two women, community activists and first-time candidates, are vying for the seat vacated by Rep. Carlos Mariani of St. Paul, who held the position for more than 30 years. The neighborhood covers the West Side of the city and part of West St. Paul.
Perez-Hedges is an international entertainer who has won party approval; Botz is a professional photographer. Botz said she “supports the legal protection of unborn children and their mothers” — the main policy difference between her and Pérez-Hedges, an abortion rights advocate.
The winner will face Republican Kevin Fjelsted in November in the heavily Democratic district.
House 66A DFL: Leigh Finke vs. Dave Thomas
At 10 p.m., Finke was in the lead with one of 15 constituency reports.
Finke, who has a background in documentary filmmaking, had the chance to make history by potentially becoming the first trans woman to serve in the Legislative Assembly. Thomas, who had run for mayor of Falcon Heights and served on the park’s board of directors, presents his 10 years of service in the United States military as part of a public service campaign narrative.
The heavily Democratic district includes the St. Paul neighborhoods of St. Anthony Park, Como, and Hamline-Midway; all of Falcon Heights; parts of Roseville south to Minnesota 36 and all of Lauderdale. Much of the region was represented by Representative Alice Hausman, DFL-Falcon Heights, who is retiring after 17 terms in the House.
The winner will face Republican Trace Johnson in November.
Senate 65 DFL: Senator Sandy Pappas leads Zuki Ellis and Sheigh Freeberg
As of 10:15 p.m., Pappas had a strong lead with 65% of the vote with 12 of 24 constituencies reported. Freeberg was in second place with 23%; Ellis had 12 percent.
Pappas, a 38-year-old incumbent, campaigned during her tenure in the heavily Democratic district. Freeberg, a labor organizer, said the senator had lost touch with working-class families in her district. Ellis serves on the St. Paul School Board.
The neighborhood represents the heart of St. Paul, stretching south from downtown through the West Side and part of West St. Paul and west through Frogtown, Summit-University and parts of the West neighborhoods Seventh Street, Midway and North End.
The winner will face Republican Paul Holmgren.
Senate 44 DFL: Rep. You Xiong vs. Nancy Livingston vs. Leslie Lienemann
At 10:30 p.m., Xiong led 45% of the vote, with Livingston second with 30%. Ten of the 27 ridings were reporting results.
The district includes parts or all of Maplewood, Little Canada, Oakdale, North St. Paul, Landfall, and Pine Springs. For the past 25 years, much of the region has been represented by Sen. Chuck Wiger, D-Maplewood, who is not seeking re-election.
The three-way race for an open seat features Xiong, who represents part of the Chamber region; Livingston, Wiger’s legislative aide; and Lienemann, an employment discrimination attorney who has previously advocated for legislation.
The winner will face Republican Paul Babin in November.
House 33B Republican: Mark Bishofsky vs. Tina Riehle
As of 9:30 p.m., Bishofsky had a solid lead with nine of 13 precincts flagged.
The feisty primary race for an open seat features two curators with different origin stories. Bishofsky, who won the party’s endorsement, quit his career as a respiratory therapist “as an act of non-compliance and protest” rather than be put on a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Riehle, who sits on the Stillwater School Board and has won support from a number of Republican leaders, said she was frustrated with what she saw as a model of state policy stifling the ability of parents. to control how their children are educated.
The district encompasses all or part of Stillwater, Stillwater Township, Forest Lake, Marine on St. Croix, Scandia, Oak Park Heights, May Township, and Bayport. Residents of much of the region are currently represented by Senator Shelly Christensen, DFL-Stillwater, who is not seeking re-election.
The winner will face Democrat Josiah Hill, a Stillwater teacher, in November.
Senate Republican 41: Tom Dippel defeats Rep. Tony Jurgens
As of 10:30 p.m., Dippel held an insurmountable lead, garnering 61% of the vote with 30 of 31 constituencies reported.
Jurgens, a three-term center-right House member, challenged Dippel, a hardline conservative who won the party’s endorsement. Jurgens, an insurance agent, is proud to work across the aisle, while Dippel, who owns a dental manufacturing company, has allied himself with the New House Republican Caucus, a dissident group of a handful of conservatives who often accuse Republican leaders of being too moderate.
The district is a long, narrow north-south constituency stretching along the St. Croix River from west of Stillwater to Hastings. Both men are from Cottage Grove.
Dippel will face Democrat Judy Seeberger, a teacher and paramedic, in November.
Republican Senate 33: Nancy McLean defeats Brian Baber
McLean won with 91% of the vote with all constituency returns.
McLean, the DFL-endorsed candidate, campaigned as if she were already in the general election, while Baber, a political newcomer, tried to gain ground as a pragmatist in the district, which is represented by a veteran Republican.
The district includes part or all of the communities of Stillwater, Hugo, Dellwood, Oak Park Heights, Bayport, Mahtomedi, Forest Lake, Scandia, Marine on St. Croix and May Township.
Much of the district is currently represented by three-term Senator Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, who will appear in the November ballot against McLean.