ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota voters have rejected Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's quest to win back his old job, effectively ending the one-time presidential candidate's political career.
Pawlenty lost in an upset in Tuesday's primary to Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson. Johnson had the party's backing but was considered an underdog to the better-funded and better-known Pawlenty.
But the former governor struggled to reintegrate in a party that had shifted since he left office in 2011. Pawlenty had to live down his 2016 critique that then-candidate Donald Trump was "unhinged and unfit for the presidency."
Johnson will face U.S. Rep. Tim Walz in November. Walz won in a three-way primary on the Democratic side.