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Wednesday, December 28, 2005 

Special Election Wrapup

Apologies for the lack of results on this blog; other things intervened. Here's the news, in as short a form as I can put it: Democrats won huge tonight.

SD15: Tarryl Clark (DFL) 55%, Ox (GOP) 37%, Dan Becker (IP) 7%, with over 25% turnout.
HD15B: Larry Haws (DFL) 71%, Write-ins 29%, just under 25% turnout

Again, this is nothing but a big victory for the DFL, far beyond the one seat net pickup in the Senate. The House race, of course, was a foregone conclusion after Sue Ek's removal from the ballot, but the Senate race held at least the promise of a close one, but voters apparently reacted strongly to Dan Ochsner's gigantic hypocrisy in billing himself as "Central Minnesota's Voice of Integrity" while using doctored photographs in campaign material. Perhaps his integrity extended only to his vocal cords, not his hands; maybe not, as he was revealed calling St. Cloud residents "morons" and SCSU "a disgrace".

When Terri Bonoff beat Judy Johnson in a SD43 special election late November, Republicans played it down - it was a fluke, low voter turnout, we'll get it back next year. After this election, a hold and a pickup in moderately conservative territory with higher turnout than the last special election, there can be no mistake whatsoever: Democrats currently hold the advantage over Republicans.

These wins put the DFL in a position of enormous strength as we enter into the new year. Voters are on their side right now, no matter how Republicans try to spin it. Don't expect too much from them legislatively - they're still down by a bare one-seat margin in the House, and they still don't hold the governor's mansion. Do expect of them - and demand of them - to take the offensive and constantly challenge the Republican House and Gov. Pawlenty when they try to do things that will hurt Minnesotans.

Anyways, congratulations and welcome to the Legislature, Rep. Haws and Sen. Clark!

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