Inside N.E. Minnesota 2012 Legislative Election Results

It was frustrating to see little or no reporting of election results on the western Mesabi among the bigger Grand Rapids and Hibbing papers. The weekly Scenic Range News Forum actually did more than the two larger papers combined. The Grand Rapids Herald-Review ran some numbers a week later (and only the numbers that came from Itasca County — legislative races usually spilled into other counties). Hibbing didn’t run any legislative numbers at all. They failed to even mention the winner of the congressional race.

The Herald-Review did share a column showing how important newspapers are in history. I thought that was kind of funny. The whole Superior Publishing Company is pushing a new advertising program involving QR codes on their front pages. I’m sure that will go very well for them.

Anyway, back to the numbers. On the off chance this blog survives longer than a newspaper (a pauper’s hope, since I don’t have any QR codes) here are the complete Nov. 6, 2012 election results for northeastern Minnesota legislative races and Eighth Congressional District, as discerned from unofficial totals off the Minnesota Secretary of State‘s website. I focused on races in the seven-county Arrowhead region and those historically tied to the Iron Range. I excluded write-in totals except when they were statistically significant.

Complete results below the jump.

U.S. Representative District 8
Chip Cravaack (GOP), 160520, 45.39%

Rick Nolan (DFL), 191975, 54.28%

We talked about the MN-8 race last week.

State Senator District 3 (Cook, Orr, Ely, International Falls, Grand Marais, North and East Duluth, Hermantown and Proctor)

Jennifer Havlick (GOP), 15509, 35.24%

Tom Bakk (DFL), 28427, 64.59%

Sen. Bakk wins handily, becomes Senate Majority Leader.

State Representative District 3A (I-Falls, Cook, Orr, Ely and North Shore)
Jim Tuomala (GOP), 7228, 32.88%

David Dill (DFL), 14671, 66.75%

Rep. Dill re-elected by wide margin in what will one day become a swing district. 

State Representative District 3B
Keith MacDonald (GOP), 7727, 34.93%

Mary Murphy (DFL), 14366, 64.93%

Long-serving Murphy wins big in Duluth “suburbs,” Hermantown and Proctor.

State Senator District 5 (Bemidji, Walker, Cass Lake, Deer River, Grand Rapids, Bovey, Coleraine)

John Carlson (GOP), 15591, 47.34%

Tom Saxhaug (DFL), 17308, 52.56%

Saxhaug defeats Carlson in tough race between incumbents.

State Representative District 5A (Bemidji, Walker, Cass Lake)
Larry Howes (GOP), 8497, 43.75%

John Persell (DFL), 10901, 56.12%

Persell cruises to surprisingly big win over incumbent and labor-friendly GOPer Howes, thanks to huge wins in Bemidji and Ojibwe reservations.

State Representative District 5B (Rural Cass Co., Deer River, Grand Rapids, Bovey, Coleraine)
Carolyn McElfatrick (GOP), 9707, 46.45%

Tom Anzelc (DFL), 11162, 53.41%

Anzelc won big in Grand Rapids and western Range. GOP “giant killer” McElfatrick, who upset Loren Solberg two years ago, won west Itasca and Cass county precincts. There are more votes in Grand Rapids. Anzelc wins.

State Senator District 6 (Much of the Iron Range)

Brandon Anderson (GOP), 12220, 28.32%

David Tomassoni (DFL), 30882, 71.58%

Huge win for Tomassoni, but a little less than last time — probably because of large amount of new territory.

State Representative District 6A (western and central Iron Range)
Roger Weber (GOP), 5989, 29.06%

Carly Melin (DFL), 14589, 70.79%

Melin wins big in first full term election, including many new precincts in Itasca Co.

State Representative District 6B
Jesse Colangelo, 7012, 31.56%

Jason Metsa (DFL), 15146, 68.17% 

After tough primary, Metsa easily beats Colangelo, who could not deliver on hype of GOP rise on the Range. Metsa gave a web video interview to the Mesabi Daily News, worth a watch if only for a study in the Iron Range accent.

State Senator District 7
Tyler Verry (GOP), 9621, 22.64%

Roger Reinert (DFL), 32684, 76.90%

Duluth is a DFL town. SD7 is all Duluth. This race was all Reinert.

State Representative District 7A
Therese Bower (GOP), 6302, 28.59%

Tom Huntley (DFL), 15622, 70.88%

Write-In WRITE-IN** 116 0.53%

No surprises, as Huntley wins east Duluth.

State Representative District 7B
Travis Silvers (GOP), 4345, 21.81%

Erik Simonson (DFL), 12450, 62.49%

WRITE-IN, 3127, 15.70% (Mostly to Jay Fosle, Independent)  

After much ado, replacement candidate Erik Simonson easily holds safe DFL seat. After sex scandal knocked out incumbent Rep. Gauthier, Silvers failed to capitalize for GOP and write-in Fosle failed to generate momentum when Simonson was attacked by newspaper.

State Senator District 9 (Brainerd, points south)

Paul Gazelka (GOP), 14653, 54.49%

Al Doty (DFL), 12206 45.39%

Brainerd area’s Gazelka moved after redistricting to run in what is a fairly solid GOP seat.

State Representative District 9A

Mark Anderson (GOP), 10972, 57.97% 

Don Niles (DFL), 7922 41.86%,

State Representative District 9B 

Ron Kresha (GOP), 9881, 52.97% 

Adrian Welle (DFL), 8751, 46.91%

These seats are outside my normal coverage area. They’re located in between Brainerd and Little Falls and are, apparently, Republican leaning.

State Senator District 10

Carrie Ruud (GOP), 22848, 53.88%

Taylor Stevenson (DFL), 19490, 45.96%

Ruud returns to the Senate after ’06 loss, winning this Breezy Point, Brainerd, Aitkin and Cuyuna Range seat. She did so despite DFLers winning both House seats in the district.

State Representative District 10A
Chris Kellett (GOP), 8872, 42.88%

John Ward (DFL), 11789, 56.98%

Ward keeps his Brainerd seat, which might run closer in some years.

State Representative District 10B (Aitkin Co, Crosby-Ironton)

Dale Lueck (GOP), 10764, 49.22%

Joe Radinovich (DFL), 11087, 50.69%

The closest race in the entire region, the young upstart Radinovich surprised some people winning this nail-biter against an Aitkin Co. Commissioner.

State Senator District 11
Bill Saumer (GOP), 13505, 35.63%

Tony Lourey (DFL), 24342, 64.22%

Scion of progressive DFL family, Lourey wins handily in Cloquet and Pine County district.

State Representative District 11A 

Cory Pylkka, (IP), 1164, 5.90%
Jim Putnam (GOP), 5931, 30.04%

Mike Sundin (DFL), 12610, 63.87%

Sundin wins easily despite three-way race in new safe DFL Cloquet-based district.

State Representative District 11B

Ben Wiener (GOP) 8908, 48.57%

Tim Faust (DFL), 9396, 51.23%

Faust narrowly returns to House after 2010 defeat.

In MN-8, President Barack Obama won the district with 51.5% to Gov. Mitt Romney’s 46%. Republicans did much better in the district’s south and west, not all of which is reflected in these selected results.

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