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Mary Jo McGuire is the newest state senator

Any hopes that the GOP election juggernaut that swept much of the state (and nation) in November might extend into St.

Any hopes that the GOP election juggernaut that swept much of the state (and nation) in November might extend into St. Paul were dashed Tuesday during a special election that gave DFLer Mary Jo McGuire a landslide win in the race for the District 66 Senate seat.

McGuire, a former state representative from the area, got more than 80 percent of the vote to beat Republican Greg Copeland.

McGuire replaces longtime state Sen. Ellen Anderson, who resigned from the Legislature when she was appointed the head of the Public Utilities Commission by Gov. Mark Dayton.

The district is a longtime DFL stronghold, so the results were really no surprise. There seemed to be just the tiniest glimmer of hope for Republicans when the Pioneer Press declined to endorse either candidate, but that didn’t affect things.

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Copeland had run against Anderson in November and lost by a slightly narrower margin — 76-24 — in that race.