Rep. Bobby Joe Champion, who represents the North Side and parts of downtown in the Minnesota House, overwhelmingly won the DFL endorsement for State Senate on Saturday.

Champion is vying for the seat vacated by Sen. Linda Higgins, who said she wouldn't run for re-election last year and is now pursuing a spot on the Hennepin County Board. Champion said in an interview that he received 81.9 percent of the vote on the first ballot.

The two-term lawmaker confirmed he has snagged endorsements from Higgins, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, Sen. Scott Dibble, Council Member Lisa Goodman and other boldface names. He did not know if he would be facing a primary challenger.

What's less certain is who will succeed Champion in the House. None of the seven candidates vying for Champion's seat walked away with the DFL endorsement on Saturday, he said.

Here is a list of candidates who were running (it's unclear how many are still in the race):

  • Ian Alexander
  • Terra Cole
  • Raymond Dehn
  • Willie Dominguez
  • Michael Jones
  • Kenneth Lawrence
  • Nancy Pomplun

Voters will cast ballots on the same day in both races, since Champion is not running for his House seat. The primary date is Aug. 14. The general election is Nov. 6.

Pictured: Champion conducting the gospel choral group Excelsior in 2003, before he joined the Minnesota House.

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