BREAKING NEWS Death investigation at Olmsted County intersection Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Democrats battle to oppose likely GOP nominee for MN Gov.

Tim Pawlenty considered big favorite to win Republican primary.

Posted: Aug 14, 2018 3:48 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Democrats were settling a three-way battle for governor in Tuesday's primary election, while former two-term Gov. Tim Pawlenty sought to win back his old job on the Republican side.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's departure had his party scrambling to hang on to what could be their only lever of power if they don't take the state House later this year.

Pawlenty was the heavy favorite to win the GOP primary, with a massive fundraising advantage and a much higher profile than Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson. Johnson had the party's support but faced a constant ad barrage from Pawlenty and also was saddled with his loss to Dayton just four years earlier.

Pawlenty and Johnson ended their primary campaign much the way it began — with Johnson touting his support among GOP party activists, Pawlenty calling Johnson unelectable statewide after his 2014 loss to Dayton and the pair squabbling over who insulted President Donald Trump worse ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Pawlenty's critique that Trump was "unhinged and unfit for the presidency" just weeks before Election Day was a constant on the campaign trail, with Johnson gleefully reminding voters of his opponent's remarks. It was part of why Johnson tried to brand Pawlenty as part of the "status quo," positioning himself as the true conservative as compared to Pawlenty, who headed to Washington, D.C., after leaving office in 2011 to lobby for some of the nation's largest banks.

And Democrats' three-way primary turned ugly in its final days. Attorney General Lori Swanson, who entered the race at the last minute and then spent most of her two-month campaign on advertisements rather than public appearances, launched a late attack ad on U.S. Rep. Tim Walz for missing more than 60 percent of congressional votes in 2018.

Swanson faced late accusations that she had pressured staffers in her office to volunteer in her political campaigns. She punched back, calling one accuser a "liar" and saying she had never compelled political work. She also suffered a setback when her running mate, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, was accused of mishandling sexual harassment allegations against an aide in his congressional office.

Walz's six terms in Congress and Swanson's three as attorney general made them more recognizable to voters, but it was state Rep. Erin Murphy who carried the party's endorsement. She staked out more liberal ground than either one, and was hoping Dayton's backing would give a boost.

Swanson, meanwhile, stuck to more moderate positions. She said she wouldn't support legalizing recreational marijuana and would merely set up a task force to study giving driver's licenses to immigrants living in the state illegally. Murphy and Walz both said they'd push for both policies outright.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604608

Reported Deaths: 7642
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1249941780
Ramsey52516897
Dakota46848471
Anoka42782458
Washington27433291
Stearns22559225
St. Louis18142313
Scott17552137
Wright16382149
Olmsted13401102
Sherburne1202495
Carver1067548
Clay826492
Rice8203110
Blue Earth762644
Crow Wing681795
Kandiyohi668185
Chisago620052
Otter Tail586284
Benton582998
Goodhue483974
Douglas475681
Mower470533
Winona461351
Itasca459963
Isanti440164
McLeod430861
Morrison424862
Beltrami407862
Nobles407550
Steele397816
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton353056
Freeborn347133
Pine334923
Nicollet331345
Mille Lacs311854
Brown307940
Le Sueur297326
Cass286232
Todd285633
Meeker263443
Waseca238023
Martin235333
Roseau211221
Wabasha20793
Hubbard196641
Dodge18793
Renville182846
Redwood176539
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena163423
Fillmore157610
Faribault154819
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138937
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122812
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine115020
Pope11306
Murray107110
Swift106918
Koochiching95418
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Lake83220
Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48293
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371146

Reported Deaths: 6053
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58273640
Linn21228339
Scott20310248
Black Hawk16167312
Woodbury15241230
Johnson1462385
Dubuque13512211
Dallas1128999
Pottawattamie11229174
Story1071648
Warren584091
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554095
Sioux517674
Webster516094
Muscatine4884106
Marshall486876
Des Moines467572
Wapello4338122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones301057
Henry294537
Bremer288661
Carroll287152
Boone268634
Crawford268140
Benton259955
Washington257351
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232751
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama212071
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198835
Page194522
Buchanan194133
Cedar192323
Hardin187544
Fayette186743
Wright186040
Hamilton181951
Harrison180073
Clayton171157
Butler166335
Madison164619
Mills163724
Floyd163442
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157136
Allamakee152852
Hancock150334
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137333
Emmet135841
Jefferson133535
Shelby131737
Sac130920
Union130035
Louisa129749
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124917
Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113623
Howard105022
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96832
Monroe96431
Unassigned9530
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona83131
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7618
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Ringgold56424
Van Buren56318
Wayne54423
Audubon53311
Adams3444
Rochester
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 66°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 68°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 68°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 66°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 66°
Storm chances increasing for Thursday and Friday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events