2018 Election Recap

The 2018 elections have wrapped up and the results are in. Minnesotans turned out at record numbers with more than 60% of eligible voters casting a ballot. 2018 had the highest midterm turnout since 2002. Below are the outcomes of the races that will impact faculty at the state level for the next two years. 

Governor/Lt. Governor
Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan were elected as the next Governor and Lt. Governor earning 54% of the statewide vote. A new administration has a very small window to begin to put together a cabinet, their staff, and a biennial budget. 

The IFO is proud to have been the first union in the state to endorse Governor-Elect Walz and we are confident he will be a strong advocate for faculty both in the classroom and as state employees.

Minnesota House of Representatives
There were 18 MN House races that flipped from Republican to DFL and the DFL now holds a 75-59 majority. The bulk of the races that flipped were in the suburbs. Rep. Melissa Hortman is expected to be elected as Speaker of the House at a meeting of the DFL House caucus on Thursday morning. It is unclear right now what the committee structure will be and who will be chairing the various committees. 

The House districts that include St. Cloud State and Bemidji State flipped from GOP to DFL. Rep.-Elect Dan Wolgamott (DFL) beat incumbent Jim Knoblach (GOP) after Knoblach suspended his campaign in September. And, former Rep. John Persell (DFL) holds a 4 vote lead over incumbent Rep. Matt Bliss (GOP) in the Bemidji area. This race will head to an automatic recount and is not likely to be finalized for a few weeks. 

The House seats that changed party control are listed below:

• John Persell (DFL) defeated Rep. Matt Bliss (R) for House District 05A
• Dan Wolgamott (DFL) defeated Rep. Jim Knoblach (R) for House District 14B
• Kelly Morrison (DFL) defeated Rep. Cindy Pugh (R) for House District 33B
• Kristin Bahner (DFL) defeated Rep. Dennis Smith (R) for House District 34B
• Zach Stephenson (DFL) won the seat held by retiring Rep. Mark Uglem (R) for House District 36A
• Ami Wazlawik (DFL) won the seat held by retiring Rep. Matt Dean (R) for House District 38B
• Shelly Christensen (DFL) defeated Rep. Kathy Lohmer (R) for House District 39B
• Kelly Moller (DFL) defeated Rep. Randy Jessup (R) for House District 42A
• Ginny Klevorn (DFL) defeated Rep. Sarah Anderson (R) for House District 44A
• Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (DFL) defeated Rep. Jenifer Loon (R) for House District 48B
• Heather Edelson (DFL) defeated Rep. Dario Anselmo (R) for House District 49A
• Ruth Richardson (DFL) defeated Rep. Regina Barr (R) for House District 52B
• Steve Sandell (DFL) defeated Rep. Kelly Fenton (R) for House District 53B
• Anne Claflin (DFL) defeated Rep. Keith Franke (R) for House District 54A
• Brad Tabke (DFL) won the seat held by Rep. Bob Loonan (R), who lost the August primary, for House District 55A
• Hunter Cantrell (DFL) defeated Rep. Drew Christensen (R) for House District 56A
• Alice Mann (DFL) defeated Rep. Roz Peterson (R) for House District 56B
• John Huot (DFL) defeated Rep. Anna Wills (R) for House District 57B

Minnesota Senate
Sen.-Elect John Howe (GOP) bested Joe Perske (DFL) in the special election in Senate District 13. This means that Republicans will hold a one-seat majority in the MN Senate for the next two years. The special election was held in MN Senate District 13 after former Sen. Michelle Fischbach (GOP) resigned her seat this summer to fill the Lt. Governor's office after Tina Smith was appointed to the U.S. Senate. When Sen. Fischbach resigned her seat it left a 33-33 tie and neither party held a majority. 

Sen. Fischbach also served as the Chairwoman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. That position has since remained open and is expected to be filled at a meeting of the Senate GOP later this week. 

Attorney General
Keith Ellison bested Doug Wardlow in a contentious race for Attorney General. This race was important to the IFO because of the active lawsuit against the IFO and the State filed earlier this year by a faculty member at St. Cloud State. Keith Ellison will undoubtedly continue to work with the IFO as a partner in this lawsuit. The IFO proudly endorsed Keith Ellison in this race. 

Secretary of State
Sec. of State Steve Simon (DFL) won reelection easily. Sec. Simon has done amazing work expanding voting opportunities and will be an important leader in the state to protect and expand voting rights. The IFO endorsed Sec. Simon's reelection bid. 

State Auditor
Julie Blaha (DFL) won the race for State Auditor. Julie is a former teacher and Labor leader. The IFO endorsed Julie's campaign. 

We will send more information as it becomes available. Please contact me at bohn@ifo.org with any questions.