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Al Schoch/WCCO Radio

Much-anticipated primary election day arrives

Lots at stake statewide, nationally in midterm races

August 14, 2018 - 5:34 am
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MINNESOTA PRIMARY

3 Democrats seek Minnesota governor post Pawlenty wants back

   ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota voters are confronting their busiest primary election in recent memory, with races for governor, both Senate seats and three congressional seats all on the ballot.

The biggest unsettled question may be the Democratic primary to succeed Gov. Mark Dayton. U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, Attorney General Lori Swanson and state Rep. Erin Murphy all had a path to victory.

On the Republican side, former two-term Gov. Tim Pawlenty carried big advantages in money and name recognition against Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson. County Commissioner Jeff Johnson was the party's endorsed candidate.

Other key races include Senate appointee Tina Smith trying to nail down the nomination to finish the last two years of Al Franken's term. And Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress, is leaving to try for attorney general.

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PRIMARY ROUNDUP

'Blue wave' to be tested in key Midwestern primaries

   MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Democrats are fighting to beat back Republican gains across the Midwest as the 2018 primary season roars through Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Tuesday's primary contests for governor, the Senate and the House will test the strength of President Donald Trump's fiery coalition against the energy of the Democratic resistance among working-class voters.

Meanwhile, accusations of domestic violence involving the Democratic National Committee's deputy chairman, congressman and attorney general candidate Keith Ellison, could undermine the "blue wave" in Minnesota.

In all, four states including Vermont and Connecticut will host elections on Tuesday as the 2018 primary season nears its final chapter.

Democrats appear particularly motivated in Wisconsin, where eight candidates want the chance to take on Republican Gov. Scott Walker. In Minnesota, former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants his job back.

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TRUMP-STAUBER

Trump tweets endorsement of Minnesota candidate Pete Stauber

   MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to reaffirm his support for Minnesota congressional candidate Pete Stauber.

Trump tweeted Monday that Stauber has his "full and total Endorsement!" and urged voters to back him in Tuesday's GOP primary election.

Stauber is a St. Louis County commissioner and retired Duluth police officer who's running for the northeastern Minnesota seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan. He's expected to win Tuesday's primary over former Duluth School Board member Harry Robb Welty.

Trump campaigned for Stauber in Duluth in June, and Vice President Mike Pence appeared at a Stauber fundraiser this month.

Minnesota's 8th District congressional race is widely rated a toss-up and one of Republicans' best chances anywhere to flip a Democratic seat as they struggle to retain their House majority.