Johnson Wins GOP Gubernatorial Primary, Walz Takes DFL Race

August 15, 2018 04:31 PM

11:40 p.m.

Tim Walz issued the following statement Tuesday night after being declared the winner of the DFL gubernatorial primary:

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"I am humbled to be the DFL candidate for governor. Our campaign was founded on the belief that there is more that unites us than divides us. Thank you to everyone who has joined our team over the past year.

"We believe in a state where we can come together around our shared values to address our diverse needs. We believe when the Twin Cities thrive, Greater Minnesota thrives—and when Greater Minnesota thrives, the Twin Cities thrive.

"We believe in One Minnesota.  And tonight’s victory shows that hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans do too."

10:50 p.m.

Jeff Johnson issued the following statement Tuesday night after being declared the winner of the GOP gubernatorial primary: 

I am honored to represent the Republican Party in the general election this November. I want to thank Tim Pawlenty and his supporters for running a tough race, and I very much look forward to uniting as one starting tonight--together we can not be defeated in November.

I'd especially like to thank my volunteers and supporters who dedicated an amazing amount of time and energy into earning this victory; they were simply awesome.

It's time for dramatic change in a government that has become arrogant and broken. We will change the culture in St.Paul from that of controlling and directing Minnesotans to actually serving the people who pay our salaries. Minnesotans will have more money in their pockets, and less government bureaucracy in their lives.

The contrast with Tim Walz could not be more stark. His vision for the future is to dramatically grow government, raise taxes, ignore the rule of law, give government control of everyone's healthcare and further stifle Minnesotans' pursuit of the American Dream.

My message is not partisan. Regardless of ideology, Minnesotans know that government is not working. We all see the dysfunction at the end of every legislative session, the power of special interests and the string of government failures. And most Minnesotans know that government is wasting too much of our hard-earned money and making too many decisions that we should be making for ourselves.

St. Paul is broken, the status quo has failed everyday hardworking Minnesotans for too long and together we will change that starting in 2019. I can't wait for the campaign ahead and the contrast of this vision with Tim Walz's and the Democrats.

10:30 p.m.

While addressing supporters, State Rep. Erin Murphy said she is brokenhearted over the results of the race. However, she said she plans to support Tim Walz.

"I will endorse (Walz) and support him because we need to come together as Democrats," Murphy said. 

10:11 p.m.

Democratic Rep. Tim Walz has won a three-way primary for Minnesota governor.

Walz leveraged his rural Minnesota connections and a geographically balanced ticket to defeat state Rep. Erin Murphy and Attorney General Lori Swanson in Tuesday's primary. Walz is leaving Congress after six terms representing southwestern Minnesota.

Walz's outstate appeal and pedigree as a former teacher and a National Guard veteran had long made him a favorite among Democrats trying to hang on to the office as two-term Gov. Mark Dayton retires.

10:08 p.m.

County Commissioner Jeff Johnson has beaten former Gov. Tim Pawlenty in Minnesota's Republican primary for governor, derailing Pawlenty's bid to reclaim his old job.

Johnson won Tuesday despite Pawlenty's enormous fundraising and name recognition advantages. He also won despite his own history as the party's losing candidate for governor four years ago.

10 p.m.

As of 10 p.m., Jeff Johnson continues to lead the GOP field in the gubernatorial primary race with a total of 115,135 votes. Tim Pawlenty is trailing with a total of 96,773 votes. 

Tim Walz continues to lead in the DFL gubernatorial race with 180,563 votes. Erin Murphy has received 138,043 votes.

Attorney General Lori Swanson conceded earlier in the evening. 

A total of 2,609 of 4,112 precincts have reported.

9:40 p.m.

Democratic Attorney General Lori Swanson is conceding in the Democratic primary for Minnesota governor.

Swanson trailed heavily in early returns from Tuesday night's three-way primary against Rep. Tim Walz and state Rep. Erin Murphy. She told supporters gathered at an election night party that the people had spoken.

Swanson had been considered a top contender since launching her last-minute bid.

But her campaign was marred by allegations that may have caused voters to reconsider. The campaign came under fire last month after her running mate, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, was accused of mishandling sexual misconduct complaints against a staffer in his office.

And she faced allegations from a former staffer that she pressured office employees to help her political ambitions. Swanson called those allegations a lie.
 

9 p.m.

As of 9 p.m., Jeff Johnson continues to lead the GOP field in the gubernatorial primary race with a total of 58,073 votes. Tim Pawlenty is trailing with a total of 46,610 votes. 

Tim Walz continues to lead in the DFL gubernatorial race with 103,403 votes. Erin Murphy has received 90,644 votes and Lori Swanson has received 55,118 votes.

A total of 985 of 4,112 precincts have reported.

8:15 p.m.

As of 8:15 p.m., Tim Walz is leading the DFL gubernatorial race with 11,417 votes. Erin Murphy has received 9,063 votes and Lori Swanson has received 6,759 votes.

In the Republican race, Jeff Johnson is leading with 8,004 votes. Tim Pawlenty has received 6,199.

A total of 132 of 4,112 precincts have reported.

8 p.m.

Voters went to the polls Tuesday, casting their ballots in a primary election to determine which DFL and Republican candidates for governor will face off in the general election this November.

DFL incumbent Mark Dayton is not running again.

KSTP Gubernatorial Race Coverage

Three candidates were vying to be the DFL candidate this year. State Rep. Erin Murphy earned the party's endorsement at its nominating convention in June. She is competing with U.S. Rep. Tim Walz and Attorney General Lori Swanson.

Swanson entered the race after the convention, selecting retiring U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan as her Lt. Governor pick. But over the past week, she has faced accusations she coerced employees in her office to volunteer to help her with political activities.

RELATED: Voters Head to the Polls on Primary Day in Minnesota

On the Republican side, former governor Tim Pawlenty is competing against Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, who lost to Dayton as the Republican nominee in 2014. Johnson received his party's endorsement at the nominating convention.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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