All of the incumbents in Minnesota Congressional races won re-election on Tuesday, including controversial Sixth District Representative Michelle Bachmann, whose comments about “anti-American” opinions of now-president-elect Barack Obama and of her fellow members of Congress stirred controversy in the closing weeks of the campaign.
And the winners are:
• Democrat Tim Walz in the First District, with 62% of the vote, easily beating back a challenge from Republican Brian Davis. Walz won his seat in 2006, after beating incumbent Republican Representative Gil Gutknecht. The First District is located in southern Minnesota
• Republican John Kline in the Second District, easily defeated DFL challenger Steve Sarvi, winning 57% of the vote in this strongly Republican district, which includes several south suburban counties. Kline has represented the district since 2002.
• Republican Erik Paulsen in the Third District, replacing retiring Republican
Representative Jim Ramstad, and winning a hard-fought race with DFL candidate Ashwin Madia. Though the race was hard-fought, in the end Paulsen won by a comfortable margin of 48.48% to 40.85% for Madia, with Independence Party candidate David Dillon picking up 10.56% of the vote total. The composition of the Third District, in west suburban Hennepin County, became an issue in the campaign, with Republican campaign ads targeting Madia, the son of Indian immigrants and an unmarried, apartment-dwelling war veteran, as “not like us.”
• Democrat Betty McCollum in the Fourth District, with solidly Democratic St. Paul, won an easy victory over Republican Ed Matthews.
• Democrat Keith Ellison in the Fifth District, with the also-solidly-Democratic Minneapolis, won more than 70% of the vote, over GOP challenger Barb Davis White.
• Republican Michelle Bachmann in the Sixth District, overcame the challenge by DFL El Tinklenberg, winning 46.41% of the vote to Tinklenberg’s 43.44%. Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson won just over 10% of the vote. The strangely-shaped Sixth District was the scene of even stranger politicking in the final weeks of the campaign, drawing national attention to some of
• Democrat Collin Peterson in the Seventh District, easily rolled over GOP challenger Glen Menze, winning more than 70% of the votes cast in his western Minnesota district.
• Democrat James Oberstar in the Eighth District, also won an easy victory over GOP candidate Michael Cummins. Oberstar’s 67% vote total sends him back to Washington for his 18th term representing northern Minnesota.