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Minnesotans Head To The Polls For Primary Elections

CBS Minnesota
Tuesday, August 09, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WCCO) — Voters in Minnesota will head to the polls Tuesday for the state’s primary election. Voters have only a handful of primaries Tuesday and the lack of any prominent races has officials predicting a less than 10-percent turnout, but there’s still plenty at stake.

GOP Rep. John Kline’s retirement set off a scramble for his southern Minnesota congressional seat, with four Republicans vying to advance to November. Conservative radio talker Jason Lewis carried the party’s endorsement, with businesswoman Darlene Miller, former state Sen. John Howe and consultant Matt Erickson also in it.

Democrat Angie Craig, a former St. Jude Medical Executive, had a clear path to face the winner in the fall.

Meanwhile, one of Minnesota’s longest-serving lawmakers is fighting to extend her 44-year legislative career in a three-way Democratic primary. Minneapolis Rep. Phyllis Kahn has been challenged by two Somali community activists, Ilhan Omar and Mohamud Noor.

A win for either of Kahn’s challengers could pave the way for the nation’s first Somali-American lawmaker, since Tuesday’s winner was likely to be heavily favored in the liberal district.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt also had a primary challenger. Daudt, seen as a potential Republican candidate for governor at some point, was trying to fend off Alan Duff, a former Isanti County commissioner who said Daudt hadn’t done enough to limit state spending.

Another House race attracting attention is in St. Paul’s District 65-A.

The leader of Black Lives Matter in St. Paul, Rashad Turner, is challenging incumbent Representative Rena Moran.

The only statewide race was for Supreme Court, where Associate Justice Natalie Hudson was the incumbent in a three-party field. Hudson will face Michelle MacDonald. MacDonald ran in 2014 when there was widespread controversy over her conviction for failing to take a breathalyzer test during a suspected DUI stop. Attorney Craig Foss is also running. Two candidates advance to November.

Turnout was expected to be very low. Ramsey County elections chief Joe Mansky, a former state elections official, estimated 5 percent turnout in his county, the state’s second-most populous. The secretary of state’s office wouldn’t give an estimate.

Election judges will arrive Tuesday morning to pick up the rosters voters use to check-in at their polling places. Polls across the state open at 7 a.m. and stay open until 8 p.m.


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