In rematch, Craig tops Lewis

DFLers win MN House seats, other incumbents hold on

 

After all the ballots were counted Nov. 6, the rematch between DLFer Angie Craig and incumbent Republican Rep. Jason Lewis for the 2nd Congressional District had a different outcome than it did in 2016. 

Craig won the district with roughly 53 percent of the vote, to Lewis’ 47 percent. 

In a statement sent out late Nov. 6, Craig, 46, who lives in Eagan, said she was honored, humbled and grateful for the chance to represent the district. 

“I will never forget where I come from and who I work for,” she said.

Craig added that from the start, her campaign centered on “people, our values, and what we’re fighting for,” including affordable health care, good paying jobs and a workforce with the right skills.

“Our campaign has been about civility and decency and finding common ground where it exists. And it’s been about listening to — and showing up for — families in the Second District. As a representative, I promise to continue listening and carry your stories with me,” said Craig.

 

52B goes blue

Winning election in 2016 with 51 percent of the vote, Minnesota House incumbent Rep. Regina Barr, a Republican, was unable to win re-election in District 52B this time around. 

DFL candidate Ruth Richardson won the seat with roughly 54 percent of the vote, surpassing Barr’s 46 percent.

Richardson could not be reached for comment.

Barr said she’s proud of the hard work and positive campaign she and her team ran, adding she had a successful first term and is proud of the work accomplished in her two years.

“I would have welcomed the opportunity to continue serving my community and our great state. I don’t think this election was about individual candidates at the state level, but rather about a need to send a strong message to Washington,” she said. 

Barr thanked her team at the House and her campaign team for its hard work and support.

She added that “behind every successful legislator or candidate is a strong team and I was privileged to work with some of the best and brightest Minnesota has to offer.”

“No legislator or candidate can be successful without a supportive spouse and I want to thank my husband Kevin for his love and support every step of the way,” said Barr, adding that as a 20-year resident of the district, it was an honor and privilege to serve constitutes, many of whom are her friends and neighbors. 

Barr, who said it is too early to speculate if she will run for this office or any other at this time, said she looks forward to continuing to serve her community in other ways. 

 

As does 54A

In the race for House District 54A, DFLer Anne Claflin won by a narrow margin against incumbent Republican Rep. Keith Franke, with results reminiscent of 2016.

Claflin was elected with 51 percent of the vote, as was Franke two years ago.

Finding out she’d won, Claflin said she felt a combination of honor and gratitude.

“I am incredibly grateful that people trust me to represent them and I take this responsibility very seriously,” she said.

Claflin said what set her campaign apart was getting out and talking to neighbors face-to-face. The conversations not only increased her appreciation for the community she lives in, but it “also allowed my campaign to connect with voters in a way that got beyond the constant GOP attack ads.”

Claflin said she will continue talking to the community, city councils and the entire district, pointing out she wants to hear from residents. 

She said her first two priorities are putting people first and clean water. 

“I will work to level the playing field for working Minnesotans, everyone that works and cares for their family should get a fair shake in life, and the opportunity to get ahead,” Claflin said.

She added there needs to be a guarantee for all residents to have clean, safe drinking water, and she will fight to make this a priority that’s fast-tracked in the Legislature. 

Claflin said she is humbled by the outpouring of support her campaign received and what it stood for. She said it takes a community and countless volunteers and supporters to win a campaign.

“Waves build from little actions, and I hope everyone that was a part of this continues to work for their community,” she said, adding regardless of who voters supported, she will work every day to “listen, respect and work for every resident in our district.”

Franke could not be reached for comment.

 

Those who cruised

There were several incumbents across the coverage area who held onto their seats. Incumbent DFL Rep. Rick Hansen, who has served since 2004, was elected to another term for House District 52A, beating challenger Beth Arntson. Hansen received nearly 66 percent of the vote to Arntson’s 34 percent. 

County Commissioner Kathleen Gaylord was able to win her race against Todd Podgorski to keep her seat on the Dakota County Board of Commissioners for District 2. Gaylord, who has served four terms, won with almost 60 percent of the vote.

County Attorney James Backstrom and County Sheriff Tim Leslie both ran unopposed and will start their next terms in January.

 

–Hannah Burlingame can be reached at 651-748-7824 or hburlingame@lillienews.com

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