It was a late night for political pundits and those watching the returns in in both national and state races.
President Barack Obama will return to the white house for another four years. Obama and his republican challenger Mitt Romney were very close in the both the popular vote and in the electoral college, but although it may take some time to become official, it appears the president has won both.
As far as congressional races, in Minnesota republican Chip Cravaack will not return to Washington for a second term in the US House. His democratic Challenger Rick Nolan defeated Cravaack to now represent District 8. In the Senate race, it was a runaway for Sen. Amy Klobuchar who easily defeated republican Kurt Bills.
On the Wisconsin side, democrat Tammy Baldwin won her race for the US Senate defeating former Gov. Tommy Thompson for the seat once occupied by Herb Kohl. Baldwin becomes the first openly gay member of the Senate. Also in Wisconsin, republican U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy has survived his reelection bid in the northwestern part of the state known as the 7th District. The first-term congressman defeated Democrat Patrick Kreitlow on Tuesday.
As far as state races in Minnesota, Tony Lourey has won another term in St. Paul as the State Senator in District 11. Lourey defeated his republican challenger Bill Saumer by a fairly wide margin with around 64 percent of the vote. In a much closer race, democrat Tim Faust has been elected to represent District 11B in the Minnesota House. Faust narrowly defeated republican Ben Wiener, winning a seat in St. Paul by less than 600 votes out of more than 18,000 votes cast. Faust lost against republican Roger Crawford two years ago, but will be a member of the Minnesota house once again.
Both houses of the Minnesota legislature have flipped, meaning democrats control both the State House and the State Senate.
As for the two proposed amendments to the State’s constitution, both were defeated. The amendment that would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman received better than 47 percent support, but that was not enough to pass it. Very similarly, the amendment that would have required Minnesota voters to present photo ID at the polls was also defeated receiving just over 46 percent of the vote. This means that neither amendment has passed.
In Pine County, the two commissioner races were won by Steve Chafee and Kurt Rossow. Both men will be returning to the board after defeating their challengers in districts three and four respectively.
In Chisago County, five commissioner races were up for grabs and they were won by Lora Walker, Rick Greene, George McMahon, Ben Monska and Mike Robinson meaning the entire board was reelected.
Some much closer races for commissioner were in Isanti county where incumbent Larry Southerland defeated Terry Turnquist by 19 votes out of nearly 4000 votes cast. That means Southerland has barely defended his seat as a commissioner and will return to the board. Incumbent commissioner Alan Duff wasn’t so fortunate; he was defeated by his challenger Greg Anderson. Mike Warring will be back as a commissioner in Isanti County though as he defeated Jim Kennendy. This means that just two of the three incumbents up for reelection on the Isanti county board will be returning.
In Pine City races, the former Pine County Chief Deputy Steve Ovick was the largest vote getter and will now be a council member in Pine City earning the largest percentage of votes with over 36 percent. Brian Scholin won reelection to the council, coming in second with just over 20 percent of the vote meaning that Linda Hanson, Robyn Miche, and Paul Dunbar will not be on the council. Paul Janssen will replace longtime Pine City mayor Jane Robbins who decided not to run again. Janssen was the only name on the ballot and received 70 percent of the vote.