Housley, Smith Win Primary in US Senate Special Election

August 15, 2018 05:45 AM

8:55 p.m.

Sen. Tina Smith issued the following statement Tuesday night after winning the DFL primary for the U.S. Senate special election: 

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Tonight, I thank Minnesotans for their support. Every day in the Senate I work for the people of Minnesota – to be your voices in Washington, to find common ground and solve problems, so people have the opportunity – to build the life they want," said Sen. Tina Smith. "I'll work with anyone who wants to work with me to help Minnesotans, and that's what I'm doing in the Senate – whether it's taking on the big drug companies to lower the cost of prescription medicine, passing a bipartisan farm bill that benefits Minnesota farmers and strengthens our agricultural economy, or making sure young people have the skills, education, and training to build a career.

8:45 p.m.

Minnesota state Sen. Karin Housley has easily won the state's Republican primary in a race to finish the last two years of Al Franken's Senate term.

Housley faced no major challengers when launching her campaign in the days after Franken announced his resignation over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Housley issued a statement Tuesday night after the race was called:

"I'm so grateful to have earned the support of so many Minnesotans – but this is only the beginning. Since we began this journey in December, I've been humbled by the generous spirit of Minnesotans who have welcomed me into their communities to share my vision of a United States Senator that works for the people. Radical partisanship threatens to stand in the way of confronting the many challenges that face our nation – and the people of our state deserve better. I'm running to be a new voice for Minnesotans in the United States Senate – and it's that message of working hard, playing fair, and doing the right thing that will prevail in November."

8:35 p.m.

Sen. Tina Smith has won Minnesota's Democratic primary to finish the final two years of former Sen. Al Franken's term.

Smith took her spot in the Senate in January after Franken resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations. She was the state's lieutenant governor before Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton appointed her to the seat.

She defeated several Democrats to clinch the party's nomination, including Richard Painter, the former GOP ethics attorney whose profile rose as a strident critic of President Donald Trump.

DFL Chairman Ken Martin issued a statement following the announcement: 

“Sen. Tina Smith has served Minnesotans well in Washington and for many years before as a public servant. Her strong and decisive victory tonight is a testament to the trust that Minnesota voters have in Tina to represent their interests. Minnesota voters know that Tina is fighting every day to solve the problems that they are facing – whether it’s taking on big pharma to lower the cost of medicine, passing a bipartisan farm bill, or fighting to protect the pensions of hard working Minnesotans.”

8:30 p.m.

The Associated Press has reported Jim Newberger has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. 

Newberger serves as a Minnesota State Representative in District 15B.

8:20 p.m.

The Associated Press has reported Amy Klobuchar has won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. 

In the GOP field, Jim Newberger leads with 20,833 votes. 

In the other U.S. Senate special election, U.S. Senator Tina Smith is leading the race with 47,071 votes. Richard Painter is trailing with a total of 9,181 votes.

Karin Housley is currently leading the GOP field for the special election with 20,155 votes. 

A total of 253 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 U.S. Senate will meet in the general election in November.

Both of the state's U.S. Senate seats are up for election this year. 

KSTP Gubernatorial Race Coverage

Democratic incumbent Amy Klobuchar and Republican Jim Newberger are the two clear front-runners in the primary for one seat.

In the other, Republican Karin Housley is also the clear front-runner. Incumbent Democrat Tina Smith faces a challenge from Richard Painter, the chief ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration who is now running as a Democrat.

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

Smith was selected by Gov. Mark Dayton to fill the seat when Al Franken resigned following sexual harassment allegations against him first leveled last fall.

The Associated Press has contributed to this story.

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