Aug 10, 2022 - Politics

Top takeaways from Minnesota primary results

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Voters across Minnesota went to the polls Tuesday to vote in the state's primary election. Here's a look at the results in some of the most closely-watched races.


DFL U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar narrowly won her primary over moderate challenger Don Samuels in the Minneapolis-based 5th Congressional District.

Republican Brad Finstad was poised for a 4-point win in the 1st Congressional District special election to succeed late U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn.

  • What's next: He and Democrat Jeff Ettinger go head to head again in November for a full term.

DFL U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum cruised to victory against primary challenger Amane Badhasso in St. Paul.

Attorney general

Attorney Jim Schultz defeated Doug Wardlow for the Republican nomination for attorney general. He'll take on incumbent AG Keith Ellison in November.

  • Between the lines: Schultz, who secured the GOP's endorsement in May, was the only statewide candidate to face a serious primary challenge.
Minneota Legislature:

Several state Senate Republicans, including Sens. Eric Pratt of Prior Lake and Paul Utke of Park Rapids, held off challenges from the right.

  • But candidates aligned with the more conservative wing of the party defeated establishment-based Republicans in primaries for an open House seat in Stillwater and a Senate district that includes Cottage Grove.
  • And Rep. Erik Mortensen, a conservative Republican who caucuses alone, prevailed over former GOP Rep. Bob Loonan in a rematch for a Shakopee House seat.

In the Twin Cities, DFL Sens. Sandy Pappas and Omar Fateh walloped same-party challengers.

  • But embattled Democratic Rep. John Thompson of St. Paul lost decisively to DFL-endorsed candidate Liz Lee.
  • DFL Reps. Steve Elkins and Liz Reyer won member-vs.-member primaries for suburban House seats.
  • And Erin Maye Quade, a former state legislator who made national headlines for attending the endorsement convention while in labor, trounced DFL-endorsed candidate Justin Emmerich in an Apple Valley Senate primary.

Plus: Democrat Leigh Finke's win in a St. Paul House seat sets the stage for her to become Minnesota first openly transgender state lawmaker.

Hennepin County Attorney and other local races

Former chief public defender Mary Moriarty will advance to a November run-off in the Hennepin county attorney race. Retired Judge Martha Holton Dimick held a narrow lead over House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler for the second slot overnight.

  • Dakota County voters, meanwhile, picked former state Sen. Matt Little and interim county attorney Kathy Keena for the run-off for that prosecutor opening.

In Northern Minnesota, the embattled mayor of Two Harbors was recalled by a wide margin.

And in South Washington County, voters rejected a school bond referendum that was touted as the largest in state history.

This is a developing story. It will be updated as more races are called.


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