The Latest: Democrats keep state Senate seat in Minnesota

The Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on special elections in Minnesota for two state legislative seats (all times local):

9:50 p.m.

Democrats in Minnesota have held on to a state Senate seat in a special election, preserving their hopes of retaking the chamber later this year.

Karla Bigham narrowly defeated Republican Denny McNamara for the seat in eastern suburbs of St. Paul. The district backed Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but is traditionally swing territory.

Both were former lawmakers who touted their legislative experience.

Bigham’s victory keeps Republicans’ Senate majority at 34-33 and puts extra pressure on a lawsuit seeking to force GOP Sen. Michelle Fischbach from her seat after she ascended to become lieutenant governor. A Ramsey County judge dismissed that lawsuit Monday but it could be appealed.

The Senate race was one of two special elections Monday triggered by the resignations last year of two lawmakers accused of sexual harassment. Republican Jeremy Munson easily defeated Democrat Melissa Wagner in a traditionally conservative southwestern Minnesota House district.


8:33 a.m.

Voters in Minnesota are casting ballots in a pair of special elections for the Legislature.

Monday’s special elections for an east suburban Senate seat and a House seat south of Mankato were triggered by the resignation of two lawmakers accused of sexual assault. Rep. Tony Cornish and Sen. Dan Schoen resigned late last year.

Both contests will provide the latest gauge of how Democrats can capitalize on a midterm swoon for Republicans nationwide. And the Senate election could have ramifications for control of the narrowly divided chamber.

Democrat Karla Bigham faces Republican Denny McNamara for a Senate seat in swing territory. The GOP’s Jeremy Munson is running against Democratic candidate Melissa Wagner in a traditionally conservative House district.