DFLer Joanne Dorsher, IPer Todd McKee and GOPer Tama Theis (www.sctimes.com).
by Tony Petrangelo
Feb 6, 2013, 7:00 AM

Bonus Election Preview: 14A

On Tuesday February 12th three people will face off for the Minnesota House district 14A seat left open by the retirement of Steve Gottwalt. The three candidates are DFLer Joanne Dorsher, Republican Tama Theis and Independence party nominee Todd McKee.

There was actually a race in this district in November, unlike in district 19A. In that race the retiring Steve Gottwalt defeated Ann Nolan 54%-46%.

The hPVI of the district is R+6, making it a Republican leaning district (as we learned previously, hPVI skews about four points in the Republican direction, so an R+6 seat means the Republican candidate should win by about four points), but not overwhelmingly so.

Minnesota House District 14A info

2012 Election Results

Total Votes: 19051
Precincts: 16
Steve Gottwalt (R): 53.90%
Anne Nolan (DFL): 45.80%
Write-in** (WI): 0.29%


Total %
White: 33,627 84.554
Minority: 6,129 15.119
Black: 3,165 7.958
Hispanic: 942 2.369
Indian: 287 .722
Asian: 1,570 3.948
Total: 39,770

Looking at the higher level offices, Mitt Romney won the district 50%-48% over President Obama, over-performing his statewide results (46%-53%) by almost ten points.

On the Senate side Amy Klobuchar won the district 63%-32% over Kurt Bills, while winning 65%-31% statewide. A three point under-performance.

Interestingly Jim Graves won the district 57%-42% despite losing to Michele Bachmann 49%-50%. A whopping 16 point over-performance for the Democrat.

Now Jim Graves claimed the St. Cloud area as his home, so it’s perhaps not surprising to see him do so well in this district. Similar to Tim Walz over-performance in district 19A.

It’s quite striking how well he did though. And it’s evidence, I think, that the right kind of Democrat matched up against a conservative ideologue Republican can win this district.

That is not necessarily the dynamic at play in this Bonus election however. Tama Thies, from what I can gather, does not appear to be a conservative ideologue on the level of a Michele Bachmann.

In addition to that, and like in the 19A race, there is an Independence party candidate lurking. And while the IP rarely wins anything, they do have the potential to hand someone else the victory.

Just ask Tom Emmer.

In all, this is a Republican leaning district, although not too Republican that it can’t be won by a Democrat. In addition there is a fly in the ointment, so to speak, in the form of an IP candidate. So just like with the 19A race I’m going to call this one a toss-up too.

How’s that for bold predictions! Anyone can win! It’s no wonder I get paid the big bucks.

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