Two embattled state senators — one Republican, one DFLer — lose in primary

Two state senators who’d lost their party’s endorsement under controversial circumstances were defeated in Tuesday’s primary. 

GOPer Koering in Brainerd, SD 12

Republican State Sen. Sen. Paul Koering of Brainerd lost to state Rep. Paul Gazelka, the party’s endorsed candidate.

Party officials had criticized Koering in the past for some votes that didn’t follow party lines, but the titillating news came over the summer, with reports that he’d gone to dinner with a male adult film star. Koering is gay.

Unofficial results show Gazelka beating Koering by about 57-43. Gazelka now faces DFL nominee Taylor Stevenson in the Nov. 2 election.

DFLer Chaudhary, in Fridley, SD 50

And in Fridley, DFL incumbent Sen. Satveer Chaudhary was soundly beaten by former state Rep. Barbara Goodwin, who won about  70-30.

Chaudhary had received the DFL endorsement in the spring, but the party revoked it after the legislative session ended and it was reported that he’d sought a special DNR fishing rule for a northern Minnesota lake where he has a cabin. Then it was reported that he owed $250,000 in back taxes, which have since been paid.

Party officials called a special endorsing meeting and gave the nod to Goodwin, who now will face Republican nominee Gina Bauman.

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