Republicans take Minnesota House seat, long held by DFL, in special election
Published in the Pioneer Press
By RACHEL E. STASSEN-BERGER
Republican Chad Anderson will take the Minnesota House seat long held by DFL Rep. Ann Lenczewski of Bloomington.
With all the precincts tallied in the Tuesday special election to replace Lenczewski, Anderson netted 51 percent to DFL Bloomington City Council member Andrew Carlson’s 49 percent.
The win gives Republicans, who are already in the House majority, an extra legislative vote this year and a key boost of confidence before November’s election, when the entire Legislature is up for election.
Both House Republican and Democratic-Farmer-Labor campaign arms spent thousands of dollars on ads targeting the Bloomington area, an unusual step in special elections. About 5,000 voters turned out Tuesday to replace Lenczewski, who stepped down last fall to take a job with a lobbbying firm.
“Even though the campaign was short, I spent hundreds of hours going door to door, on the phone and in talking with folks, and learned a lot. Their message was clear: Work hard and stand up for the taxpayers,” Anderson said in a statement.
Anderson, who is in real estate, said on his campaign website that he had “witnessed first-hand how high taxes affect business owners and how those costs must be passed along to customers.” He listed education policy and returning the state of Minnesota’s current surplus to taxpayers as among his top priorities.
He will serve alongside family — his father-in-law, Dan Hall of Burnsville, represents District 56 in the Minnesota Senate.
Both Democratic and Republican leaders said the special election is a signal of what’s to come.
In victory, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said: “Tonight’s special election results show Republicans will not only be competitive in the metro, but we will win.”
In defeat, House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said: “This should serve as a wake-up call for Democrats that we cannot take any district in any part of the state for granted, even in a presidential election year. While I believe we will win this seat back in the fall, it is going to require all of us working together, and that work starts tomorrow.”