Kline wins re-election to U.S. HouseST. PAUL — John Kline won re-election to the U.S. House in the first contest of the redrawn 2nd Congressional District.
By: Don Davis and Anne Jacobson, The Republican Eagle
ST. PAUL — John Kline won re-election to the U.S. House in the first contest of the redrawn 2nd Congressional District.
Kline, the highest-ranking Minnesota congressman as chairman of the House education and labor committee, defeated Democrat Mike Obermueller by carrying 54 percent of the vote.
The district includes Goodhue and Dakota counties. Two years ago, when the district had several thousand more people who traditionally vote Republican, Kline had 64 percent of the vote. Political pundits noted after redistricting that followed the 2010 U.S. census that Kline faced the biggest shift in voter base.
Most U.S. House members from Minnesota won re-election. They include Collin Peterson, Tim Walz, Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum and Erik Paulsen.
However, House races with Republican Reps. Chip Cravaack and Michele Bachmann remained close into the early morning.
The 8th Congressional District in the northeastern quarter of Minnesota featured first-term GOP U.S. Rep. Cravaack and former Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan. Cravaack surprised many in politics two years ago by beating longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar. Nolan served in Congress more than 30 years ago.
The vote count had slowed to a trickle by a 3 a.m. press time.
Nolan had a 13,000 edge with 42 percent of precincts yet to report.
Bachmann and Democrat Jim Graves were essentially tied with more than half of the vote counted.
Bachmann returned to Minnesota after failing in the Republican presidential race. Graves earned his fortune in the hotel business.
Here is a look at U.S. House races across Minnesota with most votes counted:
• In the 1st Congressional District, which spans southern Minnesota, Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Walz won, with 57 percent support against longtime Republican activist Allen Quist. Walz, a teacher and coach, has served in the House since 2007.
• Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, a former state House majority leader before heading to Congress in 2009, beat Democrat Brian Barnes in the western Twin Cities’ 3rd Congressional District. Paulsen had 60 percent with more than half of precincts counted.
• Democratic U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum easily beat Republican Tony Hernandez in the eastern Twin Cities’ 4th Congressional District. McCollum, who had nearly 62 percent of the vote, served in the state House before being elected to Congress in 2000.
• Congress’ first Muslim, Democrat Keith Ellison, won a sometimes-heated battle with Republican Chris Fields. Ellison has been congressman since 2007, following service in the state House. Ellison led with 65 percent.
• U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee and in Congress since 1991, handily beat Republican Lee Byberg for the second election in a row. Byberg is a Willmar businessman. Peterson had 60 percent and the Independence Party’s Adam Steele of Bemidji also was in the race.
Freelance writers Andrew Tellijohn and Martin Owings contributed to this story.