While the spotlight may be on races such as attorney general or the first congressional district in Tuesday’s primaries, many Senate and House seats across the state are up due to state-wide redistricting. Here are the legislative primaries we’re watching closely. Results will be shown below.
Senate District 5
In northern Minnesota, this race is between Republican Sen. Paul Utke, endorsed candidate Bret Bussman and Republican Dale Anderson, a lifelong Walker resident and pastor. Utke currently represents District 2 in northwestern Minnesota. Bussman emphasized the Republican party is moving too far left, so he is running as a Christian Constitutional Conservative. The Democrat primary is uncontested.
Senate District 10
An open seat in central Minnesota has former has Jim Newberger, Steve Wenzel and Nathan Wesenberg competing. Newberger and Wenzel are former state representatives and Wesenberg is a Wildlife Biologist and resident of Little Falls, Minn. The Democrat primary is uncontested.
Senate District 23
Incumbent Republican Sen. Gene Dornink is being challenged by restaurant owner Lisa Hanson for his seat in southern Minnesota. There has been controversy of Dornink’s residency status after bought a new house in a nearby town after new district boundaries paired him with a fellow incumbent. He insists he met residency requirements in state law despite allegations he has spent considerable time in his family’s prior home. Hanson says Dornink wasn’t forceful enough in taking on COVID-19 restrictions, has said she believes Democrats will raise their own residency challenge if he wins Tuesday. The Democrat primary is uncontested.
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Senate District 54
This Prior Lake race is between Republican Sen. Eric Pratt and endorsed candidate Natalie Barnes. Pratt currently serves District 55. Barnes is a nurse and small business owner. Currently, District 54 is controlled by Democrats. The Democrat primary is uncontested.
Senate District 56
On the DFL side, the race is between endorsed candidate Justin Emmerich and former state Rep. Erin Maye Quade. Earlier in the year, Maye Quade entered labor and during the DFL debate leaving some confusion on if she was still running. Shortly after, she announced that although she was not endorsed, her campaign would carry on. The Republican primary is uncontested.
Senate District 62
In south Minneapolis, DFL Sen. Omar Fateh is up against Shaun Laden. Fateh won his seat in 2020 and is endorsed by the party. Laden is an educator and community organizer. The Republican primary is uncontested.
Senate District 65
In St. Paul, longtime DFL Sen. Sandy Pappas has two competitive challengers in Zuki Ellis and Sheigh Freeberg. Ellis currently serves on the school board for Saint Paul Public Schools and Freeberg is a part of the union movement. The Republican primary is uncontested.
House District 50B
This Bloomington area contest pairs two DFL incumbents — Reps. Andrew Carlson and Steve Elkins. Carlson was elected in 2016 and Elkins in 2018 for District 49B. The Republican primary is uncontested.
House District 52A
In Eagan the race is between two DFL incumbents — Reps. Sandra Masin and Liz Reyer. Masin was elected in 2006 and currently serves 51A. Reyer is the current representative for 52A and was elected in 2020. The Republican primary is uncontested.
House District 54A
A third rematch is occurring in Shakopee between Republican state Rep. Erik Mortensen and former GOP state Rep. Bob Loonan. In 2021, Mortensen was voted out of the New House Republican Caucus for disagreements with leadership. He currently serves 55A. Loonan served 55A in 2014, ran for reelection in 2018 and 2020 but lost to Mortensen.