Walz win, Omar to Congress, Mauer retires top Minnesota news
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Democrats keeping the Minnesota governorship and retaking the state House. A Somali-American legislator making history again. And a hometown hero saying goodbye to fans.
A look back at some of the top Minnesota stories of 2018:
GOP governor candidate Jeff Johnson retiring from politics
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson says he is retiring from politics after losing his bid for Minnesota governor a second time.
Johnson said Monday he is retiring from the Hennepin County Board at the end of his term in 2020.
The 51-year-old commissioner tells the Star Tribune he thinks it's "time to give someone else an opportunity to change things."
Walz starts transition to Minnesota governor after big win
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's Gov.-elect Tim Walz is kickstarting his transition to the state's top office.
Walz defeated Republican Jeff Johnson in Tuesday's open race for governor. He visited the state Capitol Thursday with Lt. Gov.-elect Peggy Flanagan and his wife, Gwen Walz, to open a transition office.
Minnesota GOP ‘soul searching’ after statewide drubbing
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — It was a tale of two political parties in Minnesota on Wednesday: resurgent Democrats who tightened their grip on the governor's office and two U.S. Senate seats in Tuesday's election, and wincing Republicans shut out of statewide contests for a 12th straight year and swept out of power in the Minnesota House.
Suburban voters push Democrats to victories in Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Democrats regained control of the state House and took two congressional seats from Republicans in Tuesday's midterm elections, while Democratic Rep. Tim Walz defeated Republican Jeff Johnson for governor and Democratic Sen. Tina Smith kept her seat.
Walz wins Minnesota governor, extending Democrats’ hold
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Democratic Rep. Tim Walz won Tuesday's open election for Minnesota governor, defeating second-time Republican candidate Jeff Johnson to extend Democrats' hold on the state's top executive office.
After campaigning to expand the state's low-income health care program with a public option and increase public school funding, Walz said his victory was proof that voters are ready for those policies. And he relished massive turnout that helped power Democrats up and down the ballot.
Outside money floods into statewide, legislative races
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Outside political groups are flooding the airwaves in Minnesota's statewide and local legislative races.
The governor's race is the top prize in next week's election, but all 134 House seats are up for grabs and a special election in one state Senate will determine control of that chamber. Campaign finance records released Tuesday show millions of dollars funding those efforts.
Health care budget woes await Minnesota’s next governor
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — While Democrat Tim Walz pushes for a public health care option and Republican Jeff Johnson aims to pare back parts of the Affordable Care Act, Minnesota's next governor will face a basic math question next year: How will the state keep paying for its programs?
Johnson, Walz stress rural roots in gubernatorial debate
WILLMAR, Minn. (AP) — The two major party candidates for governor are debating over who would best represent greater Minnesota communities outside the metro areas.
Republican Jeff Johnson and Democrat Tim Walz both stressed their rural roots during a debate in Willmar Tuesday night. Johnson is a Hennepin County commissioner from Plymouth who grew up in Detroit Lakes. He says he wants to ease the burden of state government regulations in rural areas.
Johnson’s GOP primary upset sparks fundraising surge
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican Jeff Johnson rode his upset primary win over former Gov. Tim Pawlenty into a fundraising surge in the election for Minnesota governor, according to campaign finance records released Wednesday that show him pulling even with Democratic Rep. Tim Walz in the cash race.
Pawlenty loss shows Minnesota GOP’s reluctance to coronate
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — As the last Republican to win statewide in traditionally blue Minnesota, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty hoped to be the party's savior by running for his old job. Voters instead chose a lesser-known local official who didn't carry the stigma of the GOP establishment or of calling President Donald Trump "unhinged."
Walz, Johnson look to November after Minnesota primary wins
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's newly minted candidates for governor wasted little time in setting course for November, as Democratic Rep. Tim Walz and Republican County Commissioner Jeff Johnson traded niceties and a few jabs on Wednesday shortly after capturing their parties' nominations.
Pawlenty’s Minnesota loss caps political career with a thud
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's bid to win his old job back fizzled Tuesday as the two-time governor who had harshly criticized Donald Trump late in the 2016 presidential campaign failed to connect with an electorate that has shifted in the years since he last held office.
What to Watch: Minn., Wis. primaries test loyalty to Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans who once criticized President Donald Trump are now fighting each other for his support. Minnesota faces a #metoo moment. And Democrats weigh whether to send the "Iron Stache" to Congress.
What to watch as voters in four states — Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont and Connecticut — head to the polls on Tuesday:
WHO LOVES TRUMP THE MOST?
In both Minnesota and Wisconsin, GOP candidates are vying to cast themselves as the strongest Trump supporter.
Minnesota governor candidates spar over Trump in GOP debate
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidates Tim Pawlenty and Jeff Johnson spent their first public debate Friday arguing over Pawlenty's two previous terms as Minnesota governor and who insulted President Donald Trump worse in the run-up to the 2016 election.
Pawlenty weathers attacks as GOP groups await DFL nominee
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican political groups might be waiting to see which Democrat emerges in an Aug. 14 primary in the race for governor, but campaign finance reports released Tuesday make clear that Democratic organizations believe former Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be the GOP nominee.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican political groups are waiting to see which Democrat emerges from an Aug. 14 in the race for governor. Democratic organizations are already attacking GOP candidate and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Campaign finance reports released Tuesday show Alliance for a Better Minnesota has spent $2 million on ads attacking the former two-term governor. The group is a liberal political outfit that spends millions of dollars every election cycle backing Democrats.
Johnson and Murphy win Minnesota governor endorsements
ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — Republican activists endorsed Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson for a second run at governor Saturday and Democrats backed longtime state Rep. Erin Murphy for the same race, but both still face certain primary challenges that could mean neither is on the ballot in November.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican Jeff Johnson has chosen a running mate in his bid for governor.
Johnson added Donna Bergstrom to his ticket in a Monday announcement. Bergstrom is a Republican activist and a retired lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve who lives in the Duluth area.
Bergstrom ran and lost for a heavily Democratic Duluth state Senate seat in 2016. But Johnson says her lack of political experience is a campaign asset rather than a detriment.
Pawlenty laps GOP field with $1M in 3 weeks of fundraising
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty raised a staggering $1 million before he formally declared he would run for his old job, dwarfing the campaign funds of fellow Republicans who have been in the race for months, according to campaign finance reports released Tuesday.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's announcement that he's running for his old job again (all times local):
Democrats and Republicans alike are sounding off about former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's decision to run for his old job.
Pawlenty officially entered the race Thursday after months of speculation. His name recognition and fundraising prowess makes him a top contender in a crowded Republican field to replace Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.
Minnesota precinct caucus straw poll results deliver a few insights
There was a clarifying moment in the governors race from last weeks precinct caucus straw poll as U.S. Rep. Tim Walz won a commanding victory on the DFL side with nearly one-third of the vote.
1. Hell need to nearly double his 31 percent straw poll total at the state convention to win the party endorsement, which requires 60 percent of the 1,200 or so delegates.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson on Tuesday won a non-binding straw poll during lightly attended GOP precinct caucuses in Olmsted County, officially kicking off the start of a weighty political season.
Johnson, who lost the 2014 governor's race, garnered 138 votes, more than twice the vote total of any other candidate. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty was not in the poll, although he is said to be considering a campaign to reclaim the governor's seat.
Johnson, Walz get gubernatorial boost from caucus voting
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota voters crowned Democratic Rep. Tim Walz and 2014 GOP nominee Jeff Johnson their parties' front-runners for governor Tuesday, as preference polls at precinct caucuses provided the first glimpse at the wide-open race.
The Latest: Johnson gets boost with strong GOP caucus finish
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on Minnesota's precinct caucuses (all times local):
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson is the clear winner of a preference poll of Republican candidates for governor.
The 2014 GOP nominee's campaign got a boost from Tuesday's caucus voting. Johnson won more than 45 percent of the vote in the caucus straw poll, according to unofficial results tallied by the Republican Party.
GOP fundraising lags Democrats in Minnesota governor’s race
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democratic candidates for Minnesota governor are crushing their Republican opponents in the fundraising race, a signal GOP donors may be waiting to see whether former Gov. Tim Pawlenty decides to seek his old job.
Jeff Johnson clarifies comments on Muslims’ caucus participation
Jeff Johnson, a leading Republican candidate for governor, was pressed in a podcast interview this week to defend GOP lawmakers who have warned of Muslim-Americans infiltrating the upcoming precinct caucuses.
Reps. Cindy Pugh and Kathy Lohmer were criticized by fellow Republicans and civic groups after they claimed there is a plan to mobilize Muslims to infiltrate our Republican caucuses on Feb. 6.
GOP Rep. Matt Dean drops out of governor’s race; endorses Jeff Johnson
Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, has dropped out of the race for governor and endorsed the partys 2014 nominee, Jeff Johnson.
Dean, who is the influential chair of a House health and human services committee, ran an aggressive campaign for GOP convention delegates, including a tour of Minnesotas 87 counties in 87 days last fall.
I wouldnt trade those 87 days for anything Ive ever done, Dean said.
Walz, Johnson, lead the field in governor race, but many Minnesotans remain undecided
U.S. Rep. Tim Walz and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson have opened up small leads as they seek to be their parties nominees for governor, according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.
The poll shows Walz leading the DFL pack with 21 percent, while Johnson leads Republicans with 24 percent.
Walz, Coleman release fundraising totals in governor’s race
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The rush for cash is on in the crowded race for Minnesota governor.
Democratic candidate and Rep. Tim Walz said Monday his campaign had raised more than $1.1 million in 2017. Fellow Democrat and former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said he'd raised more than $800,000.
Meet Republican gubernatorial candidates in Rochester
Voters interested in getting to know the Republican candidates for governor better will have a chance at an upcoming event.
Rubio eyes Minnesota governor’s race, endorses GOP’s Johnson
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has endorsed fellow Republican Jeff Johnson for Minnesota governor.
Johnson announced the senator's endorsement Tuesday. The Hennepin county Commissioner and 2014 Republican nominee for governor chaired Rubio's presidential campaign in Minnesota last year.
It's an early endorsement that could carry some weight among Minnesota Republicans ahead of a battle for the GOP endorsement. Rubio won Minnesota's Republican presidential caucuses.
GOP gubernatorial candidates plow ahead, even as some wait for something better
Some Minnesota Republican donors, activists and operatives are having trouble mustering excitement for the announced candidates in the 2018 governors campaign a winnable race, in the eyes of many, that would award them full control of state government for the first time in half a century.
The Minnesota Medical Association, along with the Zumbro Valley Medical Society, will host two gubernatorial candidate forums Oct. 17 and Oct. 23 in Rochester focusing on Minnesota health care.
DFL gubernatorial candidates will gather 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 17 in the Heintz Center Commons of Rochester Community and Technical College, 1926 Collegeview Road East.
It's Minnesota State Fair time again and along with the cheese curds, farm critters and carnival rides there will be plenty of politicians.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's former Republican party chairman is running for governor.
Keith Downey announced his 2018 campaign for the open seat on Monday. Downey is a former state representative who recently left the state party after serving two terms as its chairman. But he's positioning himself as a political outsider.
Downey says too many residents no longer see opportunities to succeed in Minnesota. His campaign platform calls for reducing government spending and cutting taxes.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republicans' candidate for governor from 2014 is running again in 2018.
Jeff Johnson announced a bid for the open seat Wednesday. The Hennepin County Commissioner lost to Gov. Mark Dayton by roughly 5 percentage points in 2014.
Republicans aim to erase campaign spending laws
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republicans are moving to erase Minnesota's public campaign subsidies, which could reshape the fundraising fight in next year's gubernatorial election and unleash more money into statewide and local elections.