LIVE BLOG: Primary Night in Northern Minnesota

Welcome to Primary Election Night coverage for the races in MN-8, House District 6B and more.

11:35 — projects Jason Metsa will win State House District 6B DFL primary and Jesse Colangelo will win State House District 6B GOP primary. Metsa and Colangelo will face off in race to succeed retiring Rep. Tom Rukavina.

On a personal note, I am very proud of my friend Lorrie Janatopoulos. I have tears in my eyes thinking of her tonight, but I know she will serve the Range in countless other ways. She ran a clean, classy campaign based on deep knowledge and ideas. Congratulations to my friend Jason Metsa. This was a difficult campaign for many Range DFLers because of the close ties to both major candidates.

The House 6B race will be an interesting test of Range political trends, with many ties to the larger MN-8 race.

11:28 — AP has 80 percent in and Nolan with 8-point lead. projects Rick Nolan to win the MN-8 DFL primary for Congress. He will face Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN8) in one of the most closely watched races in the country.

11:22 — At this point, with 70 percent in at SoS, it’s looking like Rick Nolan will prevail in the MN-8 DFL primary. Many Itasca Co. precincts are out, but those were nip-and-tuck between Anderson/Nolan. No margin changes there.

11:07 — OK, it might not get that much closer. I see much of Duluth is in the SOS mix now, as are many Range towns. Anderson didn’t do as well in Duluth as he needed to. Nolan poised for win if he can hold respectable margins here on out.

10:55 — Yeah, watch for this thing to get closer. Anderson’s totals over Nolan on the Range are robust.
Balkan (North of Chisholm): Anderson 61, Clark 42, Nolan 21
Cherry (My homeland): Anderson 54, Clark 52, Nolan 21
Clinton (Where I played baseball, badly): Anderson 62, Nolan 31, Clark 28

10:49 — The historic first-in-a-long-time GOP primary in House 6B is breaking hard for endorsed candidate Jesse Colangelo, the pro-union social conservative registered nurse. He’ll defeat Dan Darbo rather easily.

10:45 — Anderson has pulled into second place on the SOS site ahead of Clark. Nolan 38%, Anderson 31%, Clark 30%. Could tighten yet.

10:42 — In 6B, Metsa has carried Eveleth and Gilbert. Lorrie may get votes out of the townships, but Metsa is trending in 6B. This has remained much closer than many have predicted, though.

10:29 — I predict all three candidates will finish above 30 percent in MN-8.

10:17 — Hey, all of this is unofficial, no absentees counted yet.

Buhl: Anderson, 59, Clark 48, Nolan 24.

10:09 — A good time to check in with SOS totals. With 20 percent of the votes in, it’s Nolan 43 percent, Clark 36, Anderson 21 percent.

Per my “What to Watch” yesterday, this is good news for Nolan. He is under-performing on the Range, but Clark won’t beat him in St. Louis County, of if she does not by much. So the Range reports, Anderson’s numbers increase, but Crow Wing delivers manna to Nolan.

10:07 — My pal Max working Brainerd:

The scene at the Old Courthouse in Brainerd. @minnesotabrown…
— Max Page (@AYearInBrainerd) August 15, 2012

Brainerd (14 of 64): Nolan 713, Clark 247, Anderson 104. Big numbers for Nolan in Crow Wing Co.

Hibbing P5: Anderson 91, Clark 73, Nolan 48
Hibbing P7: Anderson 22, Clark 22, Nolan 12
Hibbing Anderson, 49, Clark 47, Nolan 18
Morse: Anderson 186, Nolan 55, Clark 19

9:41 — A little break. I’m on MPR website now!

9:34 — Hibbing P3: Anderson 50, Clark 44, Nolan 16. Anderson and Clark nip-and-tuck in Hibbing. Nolan a nonfactor there, but turnout soooo low. Shocking, actually.

French Township (Side Lake): Anderson 60, Clark 35, Nolan 33.

9:32 — Welcome to Ely. This is what five generations gets you:

Ely totals: Anderson 482, Nolan 98, Clark 45
— Tom Coombe (@TomCoombe8) August 15, 2012

9:24 — Whole lot more Brainerd precincts coming. There’s Nolan’s solace for this:

Hibbing P1: Clark 48, Anderson 22, Nolan 16
Hibbing P9: Anderson 81, Clark 55, Nolan 33

9:21 — Early numbers out of Brainerd. Hometown boy Nolan doing well: 73 to Clark 29 and Anderson 12. More precincts to report there. Don’t have precinct breakdown in Brainerd, only raw totals.

9:18 — We’ve got first showing of Metsa vs. Janatopoulos in 6B. Lorrie now leads in early numbers on SOS. Metsa camp is confident that Virginia, et. al, will put him over the top. But this one could be very close.

9:12 — Hibbing P6: Clark 40, Anderson 29, Nolan 21. Anderson needs big win in P11 to carry Hibbing otherwise Clark may have a big Steelworkers-fueled upset there.

9:03 — No numbers but I hear Jason Metsa carried Virginia P1 and P2, Aurora, Hoyt Lakes and tied in Mountain Iron. Lorrie Janatopoulos carred Grand Township. She now needs to match with Eveleth, Gilbert and more townships to catch up. No numbers here. Just talk from campaign types.

Also, Koochiching County is in the SOS totals and that was strong for Nolan in MN-8.

9:00 — More random precincts

Virginia P1: Anderson 186, Clark 61, Nolan 57
Virginia P3: Anderson 91, Clark 88, Nolan 65
Grand Lake: Anderson 99, Nolan 75, Clark 56
Morris: Anderson 186, Nolan 46, Clark 17

Bottom line, Anderson is winning up north, but Clark is finishing second in the Range cities.

8:50 — Chisholm: Anderson 252, Clark 180, Nolan 139.

Hibbing Precinct 10 (one the two biggest): Clark 113, Anderson 102, Nolan 51

Wow, Nolan is doing very poorly on the Range so far. Anderson is doing OK, still not huge margins and Clark is poised to keep it very close or even win Hibbing, where turnout was dismal.

8:44 — First SOS precinct report: with 7 precincts (probably from the south) Nolan holding lead — Nolan 53%, Clark 35%, Anderson 12%. That includes none of Anderson’s turf, so his numbers will rise as the night goes and the others will hover or drop. That’s the first good sign for Nolan tonight.

8:28 — Another sample, Hibbing P2 (a small Hibbing precinct): Clark 15, Anderson 14, Nolan 6. Not exactly as indicative of Hibbing as a whole as Ps 10 and 11, but another surprisingly strong precinct for Clark. (UPDATE: This is pre-absentee balloting and unofficial)

8:24 — Poll watcher in Duluth P17: Anderson 64, Nolan 58, Clark 56. As a sample, that’s only OK for Anderson and surprisingly good for Clark.

8:18 — The SOS results site for 6B is here. The MN-8 results are here. I have people in the field but it will take a little longer to gather reports from the city halls than I had hoped.

I see Tom Coombe is calling Morse Township for a 140-vote margin for Anderson. He needs to replicate that Range-wide. Morse and Ely are his base, though.

8:00 Good evening, the polls have closed! Turnout was relatively low and turnout on the Range and Duluth was similar to the district as a whole. That’s early good news for Nolan and Clark. I’m hoping for some direct reports within the hour. Meantime, here’s where your MN-8 DFL candidates are located this evening.

Jeff Anderson and Tarryl Clark are in Duluth. Anderson’s party is at Carmody’s Irish Pub on Superior Street. Clark is at the Blackwoods Bar and Grill on London. These locations are a hearty trek apart so there won’t be any alley fights or baby punching.

Rick Nolan, meantime, is at the Sunshine Kitchen and Moonshine Lounge in Brainerd, closer to his home. He’ll be there during the moonshine portion of the operating schedule.

Remember, we’re watching the MN-8 congressional DFL primary to sort out who will challenge Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN8) this fall. This race features:

  • Rep. Rick Nolan, of Crosby, returning from retirement to set the nation straight.
  • Former Duluth city councilor Jeff Anderson, the hometown Ely boy and Duluth professional fighting for a new generation,
  • Tarryl Clark, former St. Cloud area state senator looking to make a difference in her new home city of Duluth.

We’re also watching the House 6B race to succeed Rep. Tom Rukavina on the Iron Range. This race features Jason Metsa, Lorrie Janatopoulos, and Dave Meyer on the DFL side, and Jesse Colangelo and Dan Darbo on the GOP side.

I encourage you to follow my Twitter feed and Facebook page, as I may be able to throw up random, undigested information faster there. At 9:30 I’ll be doing a web chat from World Headquarters on MPR’s website.


  1. I’d characterize turnout in our precinct on the Cuyuna Range as light. I’m not used to voting late in the day but it does give you some idea how many ballots have been processed.

  2. From a poll watcher–

    Duluth Precinct-17:

    Anderson– 64
    Nolan– 58

    This is a downtown Duluth precint with a large number of seniors.

  3. Those first results are from Kooch–very good news for Nolan.

  4. Surprised Clark is doing as well as she is on the Range.

    As of 9:16 on the Sec of St website, Nolan 43, Clark 32, Anderson 25.

  5. Deerwood City:

    Nolan 18

    Clark 16

    Anderson 0

  6. Metsa and Colangelo will face off for Rukavina’s seat. Not Metsa and Nolan.

  7. Yeah, I know. That was obviously a late night brain failure. It’s fixed now. Thanks.

  8. No problem. I just wanted to make you aware of it!

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