Two DFLers claimed victory in special elections for open seats in the Minnesota Senate on Tuesday night. Both seats were previously held by DFLers.
Rep. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2008, will switch from his District 61 House seat to the Senate. Hayden won the election with 68 percent of the vote. Green Party candidate Farheen Hakeem came in second with 22 percent.
Senate District 61 includes parts of south Minneapolis and runs north all the way to the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Hayden will fill the seat vacated by former Sen. Linda Berglin, who stepped down in August after 30 years on the job to take a position with Hennepin County.
Hayden defeated five other candidates in a DFL primary Sept. 13 for the seat with 60 percent of the vote. He entered the contest heavily favored with endorsements from Berglin, Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, and from the DFL party, which voted to endorse Hayden with 27 of 32 votes.
DFL candidate Chris Eaton won the race for the open Senate seat in District 46 with 62 percent of the vote.
Senate District 46 covers Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center. The seat was previously represented by Sen. Linda Scheid, who passed away from ovarian cancer in June.