Local and State Elections on Saint Paul Ballot

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Voters fill out their ballots at Macalester Plymouth United Church on Election Day, November 3, 2020. Photo by Kori Suzuki ’21.

Libby Sykes, Staff Writer

After a contentious presidential race in Minnesota, officials called the state for former Vice President Joe Biden in the first hour Wednesday morning. Although all eyes were on the state’s vote in the presidential election, other candidates down Saint Paul’s ballot for federal, state and local offices saw tight elections as well. 

U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) was reelected in Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District with 63.3 percent against Republican challenger Gene Rectzigel. CD-4 covers Saint Paul and parts of Ramsey and Washington counties. 

Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) won reelection against Republican challenger Jason Lewis with 48.8 percent of the vote. Smith was appointed to the Senate in 2017 when Al Franken resigned. With this election, Smith won a full six-year term in the Senate.

State offices of Minnesota had two Democratic reelections. State senator Erin Murphy (D-MN) of District 64 won reelection with 78.7 percent against Sharon Anderson. State representative Kaohly Her (D-MN) soundly won reelection for District 64-A to serve in the House for two more years.

The St. Paul School Board also had an open seat in this election. School board chair Marny Xiong passed away of COVID-19 in June. Incumbent Jim Vue, who was then appointed interim chair this summer, won a narrow plurality of 23.3 percent for the vacancy against six other candidates. TakeAction Minnesota organizer Jamila Mame was the runner-up with 20.3 percent of the vote.

The Minnesota Supreme Court Judicial Offices had two contested incumbents’ seats. Judge Patrick D. Diamond won with 66 percent of the vote against Ngozi Akubuike, a non-profit organizer. Left-leaning incumbent Judge Paul Thissen won with 59 percent against Michelle Macdonald. All eleven other judges’ seats were uncontested. 

Though not on the ballot for voters in St. Paul, other races of note in Minnesota included the state senate race of Omar Fateh from South Minneapolis district 62. He won the August primary against Senator Jeff Hayden, the assistant minority leader. Fateh defeated Republican candidate Bruce Lundeen and will assume office in January.

Omar marched alongside Minneapolis workers this fall as several local businesses unionized, including Spyhouse Coffee.

U.S. Representative Angie Craig (D-MN) won reelection with 48.2 percent against Republican challenger Tyler Kistner in the state’s 2nd Congressional district, which includes all of Dakota County. Craig was previously a human resources executive in healthcare manufacturing, and ten Macalester students worked as interns on her campaign.  

The race was thrown for a loop when Adam Weeks of the Legal Marijuana Now Party died back in September. Weeks still won 5.8 percent of the vote, or over 24,000 votes by ballot. 

According to Fox 9 KMSP, both the Democratic Farmer Labor party (DFL) and the GOP flipped two state Senate seats, with the GOP still in control of the Senate. The DFL lost 5 votes in its control of the state House of Representatives, making the Democratic lead 70-64 in Minnesota.