Eight-term Republican state Rep. Mark Olson, who was shunned by his caucus after a misdemeanor domestic assault conviction, won't be on the November ballot for reelection, and two of six Republican House members who voted to override a veto of a tax-raising transportation bill will find themselves in primary battles.
A third Republican House member who cast an override vote filed to run as an independent as filings closed for Minnesota elections on Tuesday with a flurry of third- party candidacies.
Eighteen candidates filed for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by Republican Norm Coleman and 25 candidates filed for eight U.S. House seats. For the Minnesota House, 318 candidates filed for 134 seats, according to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.
Ritchie said there will be at least 12 DFL and Republican primaries and at least one independent primary. Four judicial races will have primaries. Three congressional races will have Republican primaries and Democrats and Independents will each have primaries in one congressional race.
The departure of Olson, who became an independent, strengthens the party-endorsed election bid of former Minnesota Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer in the heavily-Republican district northwest of the Twin Cities. The DFL-endorsed candidate is Steve Andrews of Big Lake Township.
Olson said he was concerned about being a career politician and about what he termed the corruption of the party caucus system by the influence of political money.
The repercussions of the override vote will see Bloomington Republican Neil Peterson and Anoka Republican Jim Abeler facing endorsed GOP candidates Jan Schneider and Don Huizenga, respectively. Edina Republican Ron Erhardt is running as an independent. Mountain Lake Republican Rod Hamilton faces no primary opposition. Andover Republican Kathy Tingelstad and Freeport Republican Bud Heidgerken did not seek reelection.
Several longtime House members face primary challenges, including 18-term Minneapolis DFLer Phyllis Kahn, who will face Joel Rainville, and six-term Minneapolis DFL Joe Mullery, who will face Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner Jon Olson.
Two open judges' seats -- one each in Hennepin and Ramsey counties -- attracted seven candidates each.
Staff writer Rochelle Olson contributed to this report. Mark Brunswick • 651-222-1636