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Nolan wins in the 8th; Quist in the 1st congressional races

REUTERS/Darren Hauck

Familiar names won Minnesota’s two most hotly contested congressional primary election races.

In the 8th District, former Congressman Rick Nolan won a three-way Democratic race to take on first-term Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack in the general election. Nolan finished ahead of former state Sen. Tarryl Clark and Duluth City Council member Jeff Anderson.

In the Republican 1st District race, Allen Quist, a former GOP nominee for governor, beat state Sen. Mike Parry. Quist will face incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Tim Walz in November.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar easily won her party primary over three contenders and will go on to compete for a second term againts Republican Kurt Bills, who won the GOP primary.

Check back later this morning for full election coverage.

And results of some key primary races will help shape the next legislative session, as Republicans hope to retain control of both state houses and the DFL tries to wrest it away.

In a high-profile legislative race, GOP state Rep. Connie Doepke lost her bid for an open Senate seat to David Osmek, who had the party endorsement. When Osmek attacked Doepke’s support of a Vikings stadium bill, Vikings officials came to her aid, sending emails to team fans, urging them to vote for her. She lost by 107 votes.

Longtime Republican state Rep. Steve Smith of Mound was ousted in the 33B primary by Cindy Pugh, the co-founder of the Southwest Metro Tea Party who’d received the party endorsement.

In the DFL Senate District 67 race to replace state Sen. John Harrington, who didn’t get party endorsement for a second term, Foung Hawj moves on to the general election, beating Robert Humphrey and former City Council Member  Tom Dimond.

In Ramsey County, incumbent Commissioner Tony Bennett — the force behind the abortive effort to put a Vikings stadium in Arden Hills — was ousted; he came in third in a four-man race. Former Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher was in fourth. Moving on to the general election were Frank Mabley and Blake Huffman.

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