GOP's Jason Rarick wins tight special election for Minnesota Senate seat

Star Tribune | 2/5/2019 | Torey Van Oot Star Tribune
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Republican Jason Rarick won a hotly contested special election for a Minnesota Senate seat Tuesday, expanding the GOP’s narrow majority in the chamber.

Rarick, a state representative from Pine City, defeated Democrat Stu Lourey 53 percent to 45 percent to flip the 11th Senate District. Legal Marijuana Now candidate John Birrenbach captured 2 percent of the vote.

Win - Republicans - Majority - State - Senate

The win means Republicans will expand their narrow majority in the state Senate by one vote. The 35-32 split may make it more difficult for Gov. Tim Walz and Democrats in control of the state House to pass proposals key to their agenda, including bills related to guns, heath care and a gas tax, this session.

The results also bring an end more than two decades of representation in the district by Democrats and members of the Lourey family.

Seat - Walz - Sen - Tony - Lourey

The seat opened up after Walz appointed former Democratic Sen. Tony Lourey, who is Stu Lourey’s father, as his Human Services commissioner. Tony Lourey had succeeded his own mother, Becky Lourey, in the district.

High stakes led political parties and outside groups to target the seat, spending heavily and sending scores of volunteers to rally voters in what was expected to be a low-turnout election. Ballot delays reported in the district’s many mail-only precincts complicated the four-week sprint to fill the seat.

Dynamics - Lourey - Rarick - Allies - Voters

Given those dynamics, Lourey, Rarick and their respective allies focused heavily on encouraging voters to head to the polls, even if they were planning to vote by mail, in the final stretch of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Star Tribune
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