Minnesota's 2018 Primary Results


A large and surprising turnout by Minnesota voters in the state's primary races determined who will be on the ballot in the November general election. Voter turnout for yesterday's primary was approximately 22 percent, the highest since 1994. The Secretary of State’s office credits the high turnout to having a number of high profile, competitive races and no-excuse absentee voting. Of the votes cast in the primary, almost 600,000 were Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) votes while 319,000 were Republican Party votes.

The following provides a detailed summary of the results. There were many other contested races starting with the top of the ticket all of the way down to local county commissioners. We will be providing periodic general election updates as the election season unfolds, all of the way through Election Day, November 6, 2018.


DFL Party

  • Tim Walz, 41.65 percent
  • Erin Murphy, 32.05 percent
  • Lori Swanson, 24.51 percent

Tim Walz is a former Mankato High School social studies teacher and Army veteran who has successfully held the conservative 1st District in Congress as a Democrat for the last 12 years. Now, he is running for governor arguing he is one of the only candidates who can bridge the state's urban and rural divide.

Republican Party

  • Jeff Johnson, 52.60 percent
  • Tim Pawlenty, 43.88 percent

The former legislator and current Hennepin County board member is making his second run at the governor's office after losing to Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014. Jeff Johnson has the backing of the Republican Party in his bid, saying he will cut government spending and taxes and temporarily stop the resettlement of refugees in the state.

Attorney General

DFL Party

  • Keith Ellison, 49.85 percent
  • Debra Hilstrom, 19.10 percent
  • Tom Foley, 12.52 percent
  • Matt Pelikan, 10.62 percent
  • Mike Rothman, 7.90 percent

After serving in the Minnesota House, Keith Ellison survived a crowded primary field in 2006 to represent the state's urban 5th District in Congress. Now, he wants to leave Washington, DC, and return to Minnesota as attorney general, saying he would take on union and civil rights cases and push back on policies from the federal government.

Republican Party

  • Doug Wardlow, 46.28 percent
  • Bob Lessard, 21.64 percent

Before running for attorney general, Doug Wardlow served one term as a Republican House member from Eagan. He is an attorney who was has worked on constitutional cases like eminent domain and religious freedom challenges. Wardlow is endorsed by the party and running to do similar work on a statewide level, as well as help prosecutors in all 87 counties.

U.S. Senate—Seat to expire in 2020

DFL Party

  • Tina Smith, 76.04 percent
  • Richard Painter, 13.72 percent
  • Nick Leonard, 2.90 percent

Tina Smith got her start in politics operating behind the scenes to help elect Democrats like former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and eventually Dayton. She served as both lawmakers' chief of staff before joining Dayton on the ticket as lieutenant governor in 2014. Smith is now defending the Senate seat after her appointment, winning the DFL Party's backing and positioning herself as a progressive on issues like gun control, abortion rights and immigration.

Republican Party

  • Karin Housley, 61.97 percent
  • Bob Anderson, 35.58 percent

Karin Housley is a real estate agent and two-term Republican senator from St. Mary's Point. She won the GOP endorsement in the race for the Senate and is touting her work to prevent elder abuse, cut regulations and lower taxes for small businesses.

U.S. Senate—Seat to expire in 2024

DFL Party

  • Amy Klobuchar, 95.69 percent

Amy Klobuchar is the senior U.S. Senator from Minnesota, serving since 2007. She was previously Hennepin County Attorney.

Republican Party

  • Jim Newberger, 69.49 percent
  • Merrill Anderson, 15.69 percent

Jim Newberger has served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for three terms from central Minnesota.

1st Congressional District

Republican Party

  • Jim Hagedorn, 60.18 percent
  • Carla Nelson, 32.13 percent

Jim Hagedorn is a conservative blogger and a former employee of the U.S. Treasury. He has challenged Tim Walz for the seat twice, coming within a percentage point of beating him in 2016. He is making his third run for the seat and was endorsed by the Republican Party.

5th Congressional District

DFL Party

  • Ilhan Omar, 48.34 percent
  • Margaret Anderson Kelliher, 30.25 percent
  • Patricia Torres Ray, 13.05 percent
  • Jamal Abdulahi, 3.70 percent
  • Frank Drake, 1.82 percent

Ilhan Omar is a first-term state House member from Minneapolis who previously worked as a policy aide in city hall. She now works on policy through the Women Organizing Network. Omar, the DFL-endorsed candidate, is running to help bridge economic disparities and expand health care coverage through a single-payer system.

8th Congressional District

DFL Party

  • Joe Radinovich, 43.42 percent
  • Michelle Lee, 28.02 percent
  • Jason Metsa, 12.59 percent
  • Kirsten Hagen Kennedy, 12.33 percent
  • Soren Christian Sorensen, 3.64 percent

Joe Radinovich was a political activist and organizer before he ran and won a rural seat in the Minnesota House. He lost that seat two years later but moved on to campaigns, organizing the successful re-election of Rep. Rick Nolan and the election of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. The Crosby native is running on a pro-union and pro-choice platform promising to bring more infrastructure funding back to the district.

Further results, down to the precinct level, can be found here.

The Government Solutions team at Stinson Leonard Street provides a complete range of services to clients who need to interact with government at all levels, including businesses, trade associations, nonprofits and citizens' groups. If you have any questions specific to this subject, please contact Paul Cassidy, Andrew Chelseth, Jeremy Estenson, Suzanna Kennedy or Margaret Reynolds.

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