2018 Elections outlook: record-breaking primaries and what’s next

Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, left, laughs while speaking with an attendee during the Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party endorsement convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., on Sunday, June 17, 2018. Courtesy of Facebook/Emilie Richardson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nearly one million people statewide and more than 90,000 in Minneapolis voted in the August 14 primary elections that determined who would represent each major party in the November general election.

The overall voter turnout was about 22.7 percent, the highest percentage since 1994, according to Steve Simon, Minnesota Secretary of State. More than 100,000 people either voted early or submitted absentee ballots, helping make the 902,119 statewide votes the most in a primary since 1982. Minneapolis also broke its 48-year-long record with 93,500 votes.

Open seats that were at the top of people’s minds were the governor, the Fifth Congressional District, two U.S. Senate seats and the state attorney general. Some of the seats drew interest because they yield a lot of power; others were fueled by controversy or the chance to make history.

In the District 5 congressional race, Ilhan Omar made history as the first African refugee in U.S. history to be nominated by a major party for a chance to serve in U.S. House of Representatives. And, the likelihood she will win in November is high as District 5 has been electing exclusively DFL candidates since 1962.

The attorney general’s race garnered much last-minute attention when the son of DFL candidate Keith Ellison’s ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan, accused Ellison just days before the election of physically and verbally abusing his mother. Monahan has said the claims are true and that she has video proof; however, she has repeatedly declined media requests to release the evidence. Despite the accusation, Ellison secured the DFL nomination this past weekend.”

Below is an election outlook of who will be on the ballot come Nov. 8. Click here to follow our ongoing election news coverage and candidate profiles.


Governor & Lt. Governor

DFL: Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan

Republican: Jeff Johnson (Endorsed) and Donna Bergstrom


Attorney General

DFL: Keith Ellison – Endorsed

Republican: Doug Wardlow– Endorsed


Secretary of State

DFL: Steve Simon – Incumbent, Endorsed

Republican: John Howe – Endorsed


State Auditor

DFL: Julie Blaha – Endorsed

Republican: Pam Myhra – Endorsed


Senate Class 1

DFL: Amy Klobuchar – Incumbent, Endorsed

Republican: Jim Newberger – Endorsed


Senate Class 2

DFL: Tina Smith – Incumbent, Endorsed

Republican: Karin Housley


Not listed: The 134 races for State House of Representatives. For a complete list of all 134 house seats for the major parties, visit dflhouse.com/candidates and mngop.com/state-house.




Congressional District 1

DFL: Dan Feehan  – Endorsed

Republican: Jim Hagedorn  – Endorsed


Congressional District 2

DFL: Angie Craig – Endorsed

Republican: Jason Lewis – Incumbent, Endorsed


Congressional District 3

DFL: Dean Phillips – Endorsed

Republican: Erik Paulsen – Incumbent, Endorsed


Congressional District 4

DFL: Reid Rossell

Republican: Greg Ryan – Endorsed


Congressional District 5

DFL: lhan Omar – Endorsed

Republican: Jennifer Zielinski – Endorsed


Congressional District 6

DFL: Ian Todd – Endorsed

Republican: Tom Emmer – Incumbent, Endorsed


Congressional District 7

DFL: Collin Peterson – Incumbent, Endorsed

Republican: David Hughes – Endorsed


Congressional District 8

DFL: Joe Radinovich

Republican: Pete Stauber – Endorsed



These seats are nonpartisan so the top two vote-getters in the primary move on to the general



Hennepin County Sheriff

Dave “Hutch” Hutchinson – DFL-Endorsed

Rich Stanek – Incumbent


District 3 County Commissioner

Marion Greene – DFL-Endorsed

Ladonna Redmond


District 4 County Commissioner:

Angela Conley

Peter McLaughlin – Incumbent


County Attorney

Mike Freeman – Incumbent

Mark Haase – DFL-Endorsed


District 2 Candidates

Irene Fernando – DFL-Endorsed

Blong Yang