Minnesota Senate expected to remain Republican; House of Representatives to remain Democratic-Farmer-Labor

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Heading into Tuesday’s election, Minnesota was the lone state in the country with a divided Legislature – with Republicans controlling the state Senate and the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party holding the House of Representatives. Although finalized vote totals are still trickling in, it’s clear that the legislative branch will remain split.

Republicans knocked off Sen. Matt Little, DFL-Lakeville, and it looks as if they’ll beat Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin, but lost a vacant seat they previously held in Plymouth. Republican Sens. Jerry Relph, St. Cloud, Carla Nelson, Rochester, and Warren Limmer, Maple Grove, remain ahead in their races. If Republicans hold those districts as expected, that would mean they will head back to St. Paul in January with a 35-32 majority.

The House will remain in DFL hands, despite possible Republican gains in Greater Minnesota. A few races – namely, in St. Peter and White Bear Lake – could be headed for recounts. In a statement, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, said she wasn’t surprised by the result.

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"Minnesotans have clearly rejected the divisiveness of Donald Trump in favor of Vice President Biden and the House DFL vision of a Minnesota that works better for everyone," Hortman said.

DFLers in some Greater Minnesota House districts struggled to separate themselves enough to hold seats. In Bemidji, DFL Rep. John Persell is trailing Matt Bliss, who previously held the seat but lost in 2018. Rep. Julie Sandstede, DFL-Hibbing, is currently trailing Republican challenger Robert Farnsworth by 47 votes and Rep. Jeff Brand, DFL-St. Peter, is losing to Susan Akland by 115 votes.

Other seats in the Twin Cities – including South St. Paul, Shakopee and Stillwater – have Republicans leading or within striking distance.