East Side primary round-up

In what was one of Minnesota’s largest primary election turnouts ever on Aug. 14, East Siders had few local elections in which to have a say.

The only local election in the primary was for the DFL candidate for House District 66B, which covers part of the northwest blocks of the Payne-Phalen neighborhood. 

The district has been represented by DFLer John Lesch for 15 years. His challenger, Trahern Jeen Crews, also ran in the St. Paul mayoral election last year. Lesch secured his spot on the ballot with 75 percent of the vote; he’ll face Republican David E. Richard in the fall.

There were quite a few state primary elections that brought out voters, including the highly contested gubernatorial race. The Republican ticket had three teams vying to represent the party in the fall election, including Jeff Johnson and Donna Bergstrom; former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Michelle Fischbach; and Matt Kruse and Theresa Loeffler. 

The Johnson and Bergstrom ticket won with about 53 percent of the vote. Pawlenty and Fischbach received about 44 percent and Kruse and Loeffler came out with about 4 percent.

There were five pairings vying to represent the DFL party this fall on the ballot for governor. Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan won with about 42 percent of the vote. Runners up included Erin Murphy and Erin Maye-Quade with 32 percent of the vote, and Lori Swanson and Rick Nolan came with about 25 percent of the vote.

In the 4th Congressional District, which includes the East Side, incumbent Betty McCollum faced two DFL, Muad Hassan and Reid Rossell. McCollum received 91 percent of the vote; Hassan came out with about 6 percent and Rossell received about 3 percent. 

McCollum will face Republican Greg Ryan in this fall’s election. She has represented the district for nine terms.

Other races included both U.S. Senate positions. DFLer Amy Klobuchar will face off against Republican Jim Newberger, and DFLer Tina Smith will face off against Republican Karin Housley in a special election this fall for Minnesota’s junior senate seat, a seat that was vacated after Sen. Al Franken resigned at the end of 2017 following sexual misconduct allegations.

With Swanson’s run for governor, the Attorney General position saw a slew of candidates run. In the end, Republican Doug Wardlow will face off against DFL Rep. Keith Ellison, who weathered last-minute abuse allegations to win the primary.

Election Day is Nov. 6.


— Marjorie Otto

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