Last year's state-level elections in Minnesota topped $61 million in combined campaign and outside group spending, according to a new compilation by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
Most of the money spent to influence key races came from groups with no limits on how much they can raise. All told, more than half of the total spent--more than $33 million-- came as what are called independent expenditures from political parties and other outside entities.
That's a considerable step up from prior years.
Democratic candidates for governor and attorney general had far more money spent on their behalf and against their Republican opponents. DFLers Tim Walz and Keith Ellison won those respective races.
Several state House races topped a half-million dollars in total spending.
And the report says there were 79 donors who gave at least $50,000 to parties or political funds, with five topping the $1 million mark.