Minnesota State Capitol (mnprairieroots.wordpress.com).
by Tony Petrangelo
Jun 7, 2012, 7:00 AM

Primary races set for the state legislature

The filing period for legislative candidates has ended, so we now know everyone who is in. Candidates do have until 5pm tonight to change their minds and withdraw their names from the ballot, and if such a thing happens I’ll update the spreadsheets to reflect the change.

As of right now there are 44 total primary races, 19 in the Senate and 25 in the House. There are 24 DFL primaries and 20 Republican primaries. Eight incumbent state Senators face primaries, while four incumbent Representatives do.

It may not really be correct to call these legislators incumbents in all cases, everyone is running in technically new districts, although some people’s districts are completely different and other are roughly the same. But none of that is the topic of this post.

Some of the more interesting races are likely to be in:

SD33/HD33B – Both of these races feature elected Republican legislators challenging the parties endorsed candidate for the nomination. This is a rather red district, so the outcome is inconsequential as far as the general election is concerned, but the primary campaign should be interesting!

In SD33, Representative Connie Doepke, who lost her bid for the GOP’s endorsement to David Osmek, will run against him in the primary anyway. While in HD33B, incumbent Representative Steve Smith will challenge endorsed GOP candidate and founder of the southwest metro tea party Cindy Pugh.

SD67 – This is the second straight cycle that this seat will see a multi-candidate primary election, unlike 2010’s nine-way battle for 25% though, this year will only see four candidates face off.

Tom Dimond plays like the Eugene McCarthy role in this race, the guy who ran strong in the Senate district endorsing convention against the incumbent Senator John Harrington. The convention voted for no endorsement and weather that was the cause or not, Harrington bowed out and we now have a wide open race.

The other three candidates seeking the nomination are Robert Humphrey (another nod to ’68), Al Oertwig and Foung Hawj who also ran in the 2010 primary, getting 10%. It’s worth noting that in 2010 there were four Hmong candidates in the field and they all got around 10%. This time around though Foung Hawj is the only Hmong in the race.

HD6B – This scrum is the result of Tom Rukavina’s retirement and the failure of the Senate district to endorse a candidate. Jason Metsa, who was one vote shy of winning the endorsement at the convention, will face Lorrie Janatopoulos and Dave Meyer.

59B – This race is another one that is the result of the district convention failing to endorse a candidate. Raymond Dehn, Terra Cole and Ian Alexander are all vying for Bobby Joe Champion’s former seat that was made open by his decision to run for the state Senate.

The following spreadsheets list all of the primary races for Senate and House (names in bold are incumbents).

Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.