Munson, Bigham win in special Minnesota elections

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The numbers are in for the special elections for State Representative District 23B and State Senator District 54. The two seats were vacated late last year by former Rep. Tony Cornish and former State Sen. Dan Schoen, who both resigned after allegations of sexual misconduct.

For District 23B, an area just southwest of Mankato, Republican Jeremy Munson defeated DFL Party candidate Melissa Wagner. Munson won the seat with 59.22 percent of the vote.

In District 54, which is in the Cottage Grove area, DFL candidate Karla Bigham edged out Republican Denny McNamara. She secured 50.7 percent of the vote, while McNamara received 47.07 percent.

With these finishes, the Republican party maintains a majority in both the Minnesota Senate and the Minnesota House.

MN GOP statement:

"Minnesota Republicans remain optimistic about our opportunities across the state this election cycle.  With two open congressional seats (MN-01, MN-08) and an open Governor's race, Republican prospects in Minnesota are the brightest they've been in over a decade.  

"Tonight's victory in House District 23B demonstrates that Trump still maintains strong support across greater Minnesota and that the people want to see Republicans continue to lead our state. 

"Despite the outcome in Senate District 54; our partnership at the MN GOP, in conjunction with the Senate Caucus and Denny McNamara's committee, proved that working together as a team can positively impact movement for Republicans.  

"The hard work and dedication of our volunteer base is reflective of the continued voter confidence in the party and its candidates." 

Republican State Leadership Committee statement:

“Speaker Kurt Daudt deserves immense credit for his leadership in maintaining the House’s historic high of 77 Republican representatives, with Jeremy Munson’s victory tonight in House District 23B. In a state carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016, tonight’s election again proves Republicans are still winning in blue states with the right candidate and a winning agenda.” 

DNC Chair Tom Perez statement:

“Congratulations to Senator-Elect Karla Bigham on her victory tonight. As a dedicated public servant, Karla will use her experience to stand up for the most vulnerable and help build an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few.

“Minnesotans know that Karla and the Democratic Party have their back. The DNC is proud to stand with the Minnesota-DFL to support strong progressive advocates like Karla who will fight every day for working families, and we will continue working to elect Democrats up and down the ballot.”

DFL Chairman Ken Martin statement:

“Congratulations to Senator-Elect Karla Bigham! By claiming victory in a district Trump carried in 2016, Karla’s win shows the immense energy behind our party heading into this pivotal election year. We look forward to seeing the great work she does at the State Capitol.”

“I would also like to commend Melissa Wagner on her hard-fought campaign. The enthusiasm behind her grassroots campaign in a ruby red district shows that our party’s message resonates in every corner of our state.”