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Despite dropping seats, DFL likely to hold onto House majority

'I Voted' stickers are neatly arranged at Oak View Elementary School in Maple Grove for voters to take after casting their ballot Nov. 3. Photo by Paul Battaglia
'I Voted' stickers are neatly arranged at Oak View Elementary School in Maple Grove for voters to take after casting their ballot Nov. 3. Photo by Paul Battaglia

(UPDATED Nov. 11 at 4:26 p.m. -- Please check back for further updates)

Preliminary numbers show the DFL is likely to hold onto control of the House in the 2021-22 biennium, although its seat advantage appears decreased.

According to the unofficial results at the Office of the Secretary of State, as of 3:48 p.m. Nov. 11, Republicans picked up five seats in the House; however, the DFL would maintain a 70-64 seat advantage. It is currently 75-59. Record numbers of absentee ballots were requested this year, and some may still need to be counted. 

"Based on current results, I am confident that we have retained the DFL House Majority. 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," House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) said in a Wednesday statement.

"Heading into Election Day, pundits were predicting that House Democrats would pick up seats and expand their majority," House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) said in a Wednesday statement. "Today House Republicans are well on our way to picking up 5 or 6 seats, including a pickup in the suburbs and major upsets against longtime Democrat incumbents. Every one of our suburban candidates outperformed the top of the ticket — some by 8 percent or more."

Preliminary results show that seven races have a margin of less than 2.5%:

  • 6A: Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL-Hibbing) leading Republican Robert Farnsworth 10,781-10,741 (50.04%-49.85%);
  • 19A: Republican Susan Akland leading Rep. Jeff Brand (DFL-St. Peter) 11,621-11,510 (50.15%-49.67%);
  • 26B: Rep. Nels Pierson (R-Rochester) leading DFLer Randy Brock 13,992-13,652 (50.59%-49.36%);
  • 33B: Rep. Kelly Morrison (DFL-Deephaven) leading Republican Andrew Myers 14,202-13,889 (50.52%-49.41%);
  • 38B: Rep. Ami Wazlawik (DFL-White Bear Township) leading Republican Elliott Engen 13,906-13,807 (50.12%-49.76%);
  • 39B: Rep. Shelly Christensen (DFL-Stillwater) leading Republican Joe Garofalo 14,018-13,781 (50.39%-49.54%); and
  • 55A: Republican Erik Mortensen leading Rep. Brad Tabke (DFL-Shakopee) 10,926-10,372 (47.41%-45%). Ryan Martin, a Legal Marijuana Now candidate, received 7.4% of the vote. 

By law, “A publicly funded recount of the results of an election for a state legislative office may occur if the difference in the number of votes cast for the apparent winning candidate and any other candidate is less than one-half of 1 percent (0.5 percent).” Candidates can pay for a recount themselves for larger margins.

“It appears that recounts at state expense, if requested, may be triggered in Districts 6A, 19A, and 38B based on current vote totals," Hortman said. "Absentee ballots received after election day will still be counted in all races. It is our understanding that the Secretary of State will provide updated vote totals on the normal election results page, as well as a daily report on new results and the outstanding absentee ballots.

“Every eligible voter in Minnesota should have their voice heard and their vote counted."

Unofficial numbers show the Senate likely to remain in Republican control, 34-33.

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