With an insider’s eye, Hot Dish tracks the tastiest bits of Minnesota’s political scene and keep you up-to-date on those elected to serve you.

Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, Baird Helgeson, Patricia Lopez, Jim Ragsdale, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry, Corey Mitchell and Jim Spencer.

Posts about Minnesota campaigns

Kline-Obermueller rematch set

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: August 12, 2014 - 11:11 PM

Former Democratic state Rep. Mike Obermueller will get another shot at unseating Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline, who defeated him in a closer-than-expected race in 2012.

Obermueller handily defeated opponent Michael Roberts, an Army veteran and Hamline University Law School student, in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, is seeking a seventh term in Congress representing the Second District, which covers the suburbs south of the Twin Cities.

Paula Overby is the Independence Party candidate in the race.

Hagedorn upsets Miller in First District GOP primary

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: August 12, 2014 - 11:11 PM

Businessman Jim Hagedorn ousted Army veteran Aaron Miller, the Republican Party-endorsed candidate, in the First Congressional District’s Republican primary.

After failing to win the party endorsement and bowing out, Hagedorn re-entered the race in May “at the urging of quite a few people inside the Republican Party,” who felt that Miller wasn’t devoting enough time to the campaign,  Hagedorn said.

“They felt that [Miller’s campaign] wasn’t strong enough to beat an incumbent congressman,” Hagedorn said.

Hagedorn – whose father once represented southern Minnesota in Congress -- now faces Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, who is seeking a fifth term in the House.

The National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Republicans’ campaign arm, had pegged Miller as an up-and-coming candidate in the race against Walz.

The First District covers southern Minnesota.

GOP voters choose Emmer as likely heir to Bachmann

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: August 12, 2014 - 10:17 PM

Tom Emmer’s victory in the Sixth Congressional District Republican primary Tuesday brings him a step closer to becoming the successor to retiring U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The former state representative and conservative radio host handily defeated Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah, capturing more than 70 percent of the vote.

Sivarajah stuck with her campaign even after Emmer secured the party nomination and Bachmann’s backing.

Emmer will be the favorite against Democrat Joe Perske and Independence Party candidate John Denney in November to represent the Sixth District, which includes the suburbs and exurbs north of the Twin Cities all the way to St. Cloud.

For Emmer, the race offers an opportunity to resume an ascending political career that stalled after his loss to Democrat Mark Dayton in the 2010 governor’s race.

Republicans gush on Mike McFadden after his victory

Posted by: Allison Sherry Updated: August 12, 2014 - 10:00 PM

WASHINGTON -- Republicans far and wide congratulated GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden on his quick victory Tuesday.

McFadden clinched the primary election against state Rep. Jim Abeler within an hour of polls closing. McFadden had garnered about 74 percent of the primary vote with 36 percent of the precincts reporting at about 9:20 CT.

McFadden faces Democrat Sen. Al Franken this November.

"Mike McFadden is a problem solver who has proven he can build a winning coalition of Minnesotans who are tired of watching President Obama and Al Franken take this country in the wrong direction,” said Keith Downey, Republican party chair.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Sen. Jerry Moran, who applauded McFadden's fundraising prowess last month to a roundtable of reporters, said in a statement:

"Minnesota families, workers and seniors are tired of an inept, dysfunctional and incompetent government in Washington ... Mike McFadden's career in business demonstrates that he knows how to get things done."

And as McFadden's supporters heaped praise on the investment banker political newcomer, his liberal detractors criticized him for being too cozy with business.

"If elected to the U.S. Senate, McFadden would put special interests - including his billionaire supporters the Koch brothers - ahead of working families," said Carrie Lucking, executive director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota.

Franken, who won his own minor primary Tuesday, issued a statement an hour after polls closed.

"I've worked hard for Minnesota and I"m proud of my record of standing up for middle class families. I'd be grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the people of our state."

Jeff Johnson wins GOP primary, will face DFL Gov. Dayton in the fall

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: August 12, 2014 - 11:20 PM

GOP candidate for Governor Jeff Johnson was pleased as he looked at race results showing him with a solid lead Tuesday night / Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Republican-endorsed candidate for governor Jeff Johnson won the GOP primary and will face DFL Gov. Mark Dayton in the fall.

With about 75 percent of the vote counted, he had about 30 percent of the vote. His nearest rival, former House Speaker Kurt Zellers, had about 24 percent. Former Rep. Marty Seifert and businessman Scott Honour each had about 20 percent.

Before 11 p.m. both the Associated Press and the Star Tribune declared him the winner.

Shortly thereafter, he gave a victory speech at his Plymouth victory party.

"Mark Dayton is a fairly popular incumbent and a lot of people are going to say it's going to be really hard to beat him but we can do that," said Johnson, stressing that they could do it by being united, raising a lot of money, and putting forth a vision that appeals to Republicans and non-Republicans alike.

"I have a vision of a state where politicians understand that taxpayers work really, really had for our money and we treat it just as carefully as those coming out of our pockets, which ain't happening in St. Paul," he said.

Dayton said he called Johnson Tuesday night to congralate him.

"I look forward to engaging in a constructive discussion about the issues important to Minnesotans over the next twelve weeks," he said in a statement.

Earlier Johnson had already made plans for the future.

"It'll be a whole new phase tomorrow," said Johnson. "I think I can present a very positive alternative vision to Gov. Dayton regarding what my priorities can be - how we can do better with respect to jobs."

He said he's not worried about Republican voters staying divided after the four-way race.

"Will there be a handful of people that we'll have to work on? Yes, but overall I feel very good about that."

On Wednesday, the Republican Party plans to hold a news conference with all four GOP candidates for governor as a show of party unity.

The race lacked much bite among the four Republican candidates and well under spent the DFL primary for governor back in 2010.

In defeat, Zellers said: "I love Minnesota. The only party I'm sad about is: I won't be able to sell Minnesota tot he rest of the country."

To run for governor, Zellers decided not to run for re-election to the House.

Maya Rao contributed to this report.



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