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MRLF helps win four out of five targeted races for Senate

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, November 18, 2016

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

MINNEAPOLIS — In the effort to retain a labor-friendly majority in the Minnesota Senate, the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO helped win four out of the five races the federation targeted.

In the fifth race, in Senate District 44, a recount was planned as the Labor Review went to press November 11. Labor-endorsed DFLer Deb Calvert, with 25,096 votes, was only 201 votes behind Republican Paul Anderson, who had 25,297 votes.

[RECOUNT UPDATE: Hennepin County announced the recount results for the Senate District 44 race November 18: Paul Anderson (Republican) received 25,309 votes – a gain of 12 votes. Deb Calvert (DFL) received 25,114 votes – a gain of 18 votes. Anderson is the winner by 195 votes.]

The Senate District 44 seat, representing Minnetonka, Plymouth and Woodland, was the seat vacated by DFLer Terri Bonoff, who ran unsuccessfully for Third District U.S. Congress.

In Senate District 36, labor-endorsed DFLer John Hoffman, the incumbent, prevailed in a challenge from Republican Jeff Lunde, the mayor of Brooklyn Park. Hoffman won 21,793 votes and Lunde won 20,840 votes.

In Senate District 37, labor-endorsed DFLer Jerry Newton won the open seat, defeating Republican Brad Sanford 22,129 to 20,838. Newton had served previously in the District 37A House seat.

Making big news, labor-endorsed DFL candidate Steve Cwodzinski won the race for Senate District 48 and defeated Republican House leader David Hann. Cwodzinski won 24,303 votes, compared to 23,205 votes for Hann.

Cwodzinski is a retired teacher, longtime Education Minnesota member, and strong union supporter.

In Senate District 49, incumbent DFLer Melisa Franzen won re-election by a comfortable margin winning 28,273 votes and defeating Republican Mike Lehmann, who drew 23,557 votes.

Altogether, in Senate races in the MRLF’s jurisdiction, 15 of the 22 labor-endorsed Senate candidates won.

Pending the recount in Senate District 44 and one other Senate race in the St. Cloud area, the Republicans appear to have picked up eight seats and will be the majority party in the Minnesota Senate.

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