As DFL groups spend big on the guv race, Republicans dig in on the Minnesota House

The spending from these independent expenditure committees dwarfs what candidates can raise and spend.

Jeff Johnson was angry.

“There is a special place in hell for people who would write an ad like this and think this is acceptable behavior,” Johnson said at a press conference Wednesday. He was referencing a new attack ad sponsored by the DFL-supporting independent expenditure committee called Alliance for a Better Minnesota. In it, a man named Austin tells of being born with a disability and claims that Johnson’s plan for health care could deny him affordable insurance.

“For Jeff Johnson to treat us this way is profoundly shameful,” Austin says.

Johnson has asserted throughout the campaign that he would assure those with pre-existing conditions would have affordable health insurance. ABM and Democratic nominee Tim Walz have responded by claiming putting high-cost patients into high-risk pools would make the insurance purchased there unaffordable.

But the ad and the press conference illustrate a different issue in the 2018 campaign: the clout and impact of independent expenditure campaigns that are separate from campaigns but often work in concert. The spending from these committees dwarfs what candidates can raise and spend.

Outside money

The most recent reports to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board show that non-candidate committees have spent heavily on state races — outpacing, in many cases, the money spent by candidates themselves. Based on the the reports, independent expenditure campaigns had spent just less than $20 million in campaigns for governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor and the Minnesota Legislature. Of that, $13.4 million has been spent to aid DFL candidates, either from electioneering in support of those candidates or against GOP rivals. GOP-leaning committees have spent $6.4 million.

Spending by independent expenditure groups and candidates in Minnesota races
Source: Minnesota Campaign Finance Board

Now, a caveat here: these numbers are current as of Tuesday. Nearly 100 past-due state campaign finance reports and about 100 handwritten reports that were not yet entered (that’s right, handwritten reports) had not been entered in the state’s system. MinnPost removed spending data for candidates who were defeated in primaries, but money spent to affect candidates who won primaries may be included.

No limits

State campaign finance limits cap how much candidates can accept from any single donor. Candidates who opt into the state public subsidy program accept caps on total spending in return for the additional campaign funds from the state.

DFL nominee for governor Walz has a spending cap of $5.039 million. GOP nominee Johnson can spend no more than $4.58 million. (The difference is due to Walz’s status as a first time statewide candidate.) Attorney general candidates Doug Wardlow and Keith Ellison can spend no more than $720,000. And state House candidates have base lids of $65,500 plus the value of the first-time candidate bonus and the contested primary bonus if eligible.

Independent expenditure committees have no limits on how much can be contributed and how much can be spent. One result is Johnson’s own campaign committee spent $2.1 million as of the latest Campaign Finance Board report while the Alliance for a Better Minnesota has already spent $4.1 million against him, with another $500,000 added after the reporting deadline. Though not included in the totals for the general election, ABM also spent $2.5 million against Tim Pawlenty before Johnson bested him in the GOP primary.

All totaled, independent expenditure committees have spent $11.65 million in the governor’s race, with Walz benefiting far more than Johnson: $9.6 million to $2.06 million. But for legislative races, GOP-leaning committees are spending significantly more: $4.3 million, vs. $2.7 million on behalf of DFLers.

ABM is the primary expenditure committee for DFLers and gets most of its money from two other DFL-affiliated committees: WIN Minnesota and the 2018 Fund. Those groups are funded both by wealthy individuals and labor unions. The 2018 Fund also benefited from a $1.9 million donation from State Victory Action, a Democratic organization based in North Carolina that is aimed at winning state legislative races.

ABM is spending primarily in the governor’s race.

Other DFL-affiliated groups are the DFL state Central Committee, the Walz-backing Minnesota Victory Fund. That committee added nearly $3 million since the last finance report, nearly all from the DFL central committee organization.

Supporting GOP candidates are the Freedom Club, a PAC created by Bob and Joan Cummins which is spending to help Johnson’s campaign for governor. Other GOP-leaning committees are the Minnesota Jobs Coalition and a set of organizations connected to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce — the Pro Jobs Majority and the Coalition of Minnesota Businesses.

But the GOP groups, other than the Freedom Club, are concentrating on legislative races.

Different focus

Republicans, who want to maintain or increase their 20-seat majority in the Minnesota House, are spending much more heavily in pursuit of keeping control of the Legislature than the Democrats seeking to wrest control from them.

According to spending reports, independent expenditures to help Republicans (in favor of Republican candidates or against DFLers) weigh in at nearly two times the amount to help Democrats (money spent in favor of DFLers or against Republicans).

Much of that spending is happening in the Twin Cities suburbs.

The suburbs are pretty clearly the battleground this year, said Gina Countryman, the executive director of Minnesota Action Network, a Republican group that has spent in the governor and attorney general races on behalf of Republicans.

These are areas where many voters split tickets in 2016. For Democrats, the challenge will be to pick off Republicans who have weathered tough years for their party in the past by getting those split-ticket voters to vote straight-ticket, Countryman said.

That puts Republicans on the defense in districts like:

  • 44A, longtime incumbent Rep. Sarah Anderson’s Plymouth seat
  • Roz Peterson’s 56B in Inver Grove Heights.

Anderson and Peterson’s seats are among the 12 that, in 2016, elected Republican representatives the same night they voted for Hillary Clinton and are two major targets for Republican spending. 36A in Champlin, formerly held by Republican Rep. Mark Uglem, is also a top target. It went for Trump but is open this year.

Also in Republican groups’ top five targets are two seats they hope to pick off from the DFL. Apple Valley’s 57A, an open seat Erin Maye Quade stepped away from when she ran for lieutenant governor on Erin Murphy’s ticket (they lost the primary), has seen more spending than any other Minnesota House district on the whole, though far more from Republicans. Another Republican spending target, 37A in Spring Lake Park  went for Trump by a small margin, but elected DFLer Erin Koegel in 2016.

Outside IEs for GOP

Greater MinnesotaMetro
2A House District 2A


No spending data reported

1A House District 1A


No spending data reported

1B House District 1B


No spending data reported

2B House District 2B


No spending data reported

6A House District 6A


No spending data reported

6B House District 6B
Virginia

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Dave Lislegard (DFL)
  • Skeeter Tomczak (R)
3B House District 3B


No spending data reported

3A House District 3A
International Falls

Total spending: $18,007.50

Candidates:
  • Rob Ecklund (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Randy Goutermont (R)
4A House District 4A
Moorhead

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Ben Lien (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Jordan Idso (R)
4B House District 4B
Dilworth

Total spending: $16,554.72

Candidates:
  • Paul Marquart (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Jason Peterson (R)
5A House District 5A
Pennington

Total spending: $82,079.33

Candidates:
  • John Persell (DFL)
  • Matt Bliss (R) (Incumbent)
5B House District 5B
Cohasset

Total spending: $127,481.96

Candidates:
  • Pat Medure (DFL)
  • Sandy Layman (R) (Incumbent)
7B House District 7B


No spending data reported

7A House District 7A


No spending data reported

8A House District 8A


No spending data reported

8B House District 8B


No spending data reported

10A House District 10A


No spending data reported

10B House District 10B


No spending data reported

11A House District 11A
Esko

Total spending: $21,326.56

Candidates:
  • Mike Sundin (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Jeff A. Dotseth (R)
30A House District 30A


No spending data reported

30B House District 30B


No spending data reported

35A House District 35A


No spending data reported

35B House District 35B


No spending data reported

31B House District 31B
East Bethel

Total spending: $589.11

Candidates:
  • Sue Larson (DFL)
  • Calvin (Cal) K. Bahr (R) (Incumbent)
32B House District 32B


No spending data reported

12A House District 12A


No spending data reported

9A House District 9A


No spending data reported

9B House District 9B
Little Falls

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Stephen Browning (DFL)
  • Ron Kresha (R) (Incumbent)
15B House District 15B
Becker

Total spending: $1,000.00

Candidates:
  • Karla Scapanski (DFL)
  • Shane Mekeland (R)
11B House District 11B


No spending data reported

34A House District 34A
Rogers

Total spending: $17,502.42

Candidates:
  • Dan Solon (DFL)
  • Kristin Robbins (R)
36A House District 36A
Champlin

Total spending: $232,742.46

Candidates:
  • Zack Stephenson (DFL)
  • Bill Maresh (R)
36B House District 36B
Brooklyn Park

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Melissa Hortman (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Jermain Botsio (R)
37A House District 37A
Spring Lake Park

Total spending: $228,269.87

Candidates:
  • Erin Koegel (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Anthony Wilder (R)
37B House District 37B
Blaine

Total spending: $103,217.57

Candidates:
  • Amir Joseph Malik (DFL)
  • Nolan West (R) (Incumbent)
38A House District 38A


No spending data reported

38B House District 38B
Dellwood

Total spending: $147,131.99

Candidates:
  • Ami Wazlawik (DFL)
  • Patti Anderson (R)
39A House District 39A
Forest Lake

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Ann Mozey (DFL)
  • Bob Dettmer (R) (Incumbent)
12B House District 12B


No spending data reported

13A House District 13A
Rockville

Total spending: $32,974.50

Candidates:
  • Jim Read (DFL)
  • Lisa Demuth (R)
13B House District 13B


No spending data reported

15A House District 15A


No spending data reported

32A House District 32A


No spending data reported

34B House District 34B
Maple Grove

Total spending: $180,938.52

Candidates:
  • Kristin Bahner (DFL)
  • Dennis Smith (R) (Incumbent)
40A House District 40A


No spending data reported

40B House District 40B


No spending data reported

41A House District 41A


No spending data reported

41B House District 41B


No spending data reported

42A House District 42A
Shoreview

Total spending: $170,027.89

Candidates:
  • Kelly Moller (DFL)
  • Randy Jessup (R) (Incumbent)
42B House District 42B
Roseville

Total spending: $11,112.07

Candidates:
  • Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Yele-Mis Yang (R)
43A House District 43A


No spending data reported

17A House District 17A
Prinsburg

Total spending: $343.07

Candidates:
  • Lyle Koenen (DFL)
  • Tim Miller (R) (Incumbent)
17B House District 17B


No spending data reported

14A House District 14A
St. Cloud

Total spending: $4,490.67

Candidates:
  • Aric Putnam (DFL)
  • Tama Theis (R) (Incumbent)
14B House District 14B
St. Cloud

Total spending: $14,508.43

Candidates:
  • Dan Wolgamott (DFL)
  • Jim Knoblach (R) (Incumbent)
31A House District 31A


No spending data reported

44A House District 44A
Plymouth

Total spending: $233,366.95

Candidates:
  • Ginny Klevorn (DFL)
  • Sarah Anderson (R) (Incumbent)
45A House District 45A


No spending data reported

45B House District 45B


No spending data reported

59A House District 59A


No spending data reported

60A House District 60A


No spending data reported

66A House District 66A


No spending data reported

66B House District 66B


No spending data reported

67A House District 67A


No spending data reported

43B House District 43B


No spending data reported

39B House District 39B
Stillwater

Total spending: $67,945.51

Candidates:
  • Shelly Christensen (DFL)
  • Kathy Lohmer (R) (Incumbent)
16A House District 16A


No spending data reported

18A House District 18A


No spending data reported

29A House District 29A


No spending data reported

29B House District 29B


No spending data reported

44B House District 44B


No spending data reported

46A House District 46A


No spending data reported

59B House District 59B


No spending data reported

60B House District 60B
Minneapolis

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Mohamud Noor (DFL)
  • Joseph Patiño (R)
64A House District 64A


No spending data reported

65A House District 65A


No spending data reported

67B House District 67B


No spending data reported

53A House District 53A


No spending data reported

16B House District 16B


No spending data reported

18B House District 18B


No spending data reported

47A House District 47A
Waconia

Total spending: $1,000.00

Candidates:
  • Madalynn Gerold (DFL)
  • Jim Nash (R) (Incumbent)
33A House District 33A
Greenfield

Total spending: $1,000.00

Candidates:
  • Norrie Thomas (DFL)
  • Jerry Hertaus (R) (Incumbent)
33B House District 33B
Chanhassen

Total spending: $109,758.99

Candidates:
  • Kelly Morrison (DFL)
  • Cindy Pugh (R) (Incumbent)
46B House District 46B


No spending data reported

61A House District 61A


No spending data reported

62A House District 62A


No spending data reported

63A House District 63A


No spending data reported

65B House District 65B


No spending data reported

53B House District 53B
Woodbury

Total spending: $171,803.18

Candidates:
  • Steve Sandell (DFL)
  • Kelly Fenton (R) (Incumbent)
54B House District 54B
Cottage Grove

Total spending: $131,971.10

Candidates:
  • Tina Folch (DFL)
  • Tony Jurgens (R) (Incumbent)
19A House District 19A
North Mankato

Total spending: $66,604.33

Candidates:
  • Jeff Brand (DFL)
  • Kim Spears (R)
20A House District 20A
Elko New Market

Total spending: $1,000.00

Candidates:
  • Barbara Dröher Kline (DFL)
  • Bob Vogel (R) (Incumbent)
20B House District 20B
Northfield

Total spending: $182,097.02

Candidates:
  • Todd Lippert (DFL)
  • Josh Gare (R)
58B House District 58B
Farmington

Total spending: $1,000.00

Candidates:
  • Marla Vagts (DFL)
  • Patrick Garofalo (R) (Incumbent)
21A House District 21A
Red Wing

Total spending: $9,379.18

Candidates:
  • Lori Ann Clark (DFL)
  • Barb Haley (R) (Incumbent)
21B House District 21B


No spending data reported

48A House District 48A
Minnetonka

Total spending: $21,471.80

Candidates:
  • Laurie Pryor (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Ellen Cousins (R)
49A House District 49A
Edina

Total spending: $30,700.70

Candidates:
  • Heather Edelson (DFL)
  • Dario Anselmo (R) (Incumbent)
61B House District 61B


No spending data reported

62B House District 62B


No spending data reported

63B House District 63B


No spending data reported

64B House District 64B


No spending data reported

52A House District 52A


No spending data reported

54A House District 54A
St. Paul Park

Total spending: $207,398.65

Candidates:
  • Anne Claflin (DFL)
  • Keith Franke (R) (Incumbent)
22B House District 22B
Mountain Lake

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Cheniqua Johnson (DFL)
  • Rod Hamilton (R) (Incumbent)
19B House District 19B


No spending data reported

23B House District 23B
Lake Crystal

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Jim Grabowska (DFL)
  • Jeremy Munson (R) (Incumbent)
25B House District 25B
Rochester

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Duane Sauke (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Kenneth L. Bush (R)
24B House District 24B
Faribault

Total spending: $6,430.00

Candidates:
  • Yvette Marthaler (DFL)
  • Brian Daniels (R) (Incumbent)
25A House District 25A
Byron

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Jamie Mahlberg (DFL)
  • Duane Quam (R) (Incumbent)
28A House District 28A


No spending data reported

47B House District 47B
Chaska

Total spending: $43,041.42

Candidates:
  • Donzel Leggett (DFL)
  • Greg Boe (R)
48B House District 48B
Eden Prairie

Total spending: $127,221.92

Candidates:
  • Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (DFL)
  • Jenifer W. Loon (R) (Incumbent)
49B House District 49B
Edina

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Steve Elkins (DFL)
  • Matt Sikich (R)
50A House District 50A


No spending data reported

50B House District 50B


No spending data reported

51A House District 51A
Eagan

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Sandra Masin (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Jim Kiner (R)
51B House District 51B
Eagan

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Laurie Halverson (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Douglas D. Willetts (R)
52B House District 52B
Inver Grove Heights

Total spending: $167,223.02

Candidates:
  • Ruth Richardson (DFL)
  • Regina Barr (R) (Incumbent)
22A House District 22A


No spending data reported

23A House District 23A


No spending data reported

24A House District 24A


No spending data reported

26B House District 26B


No spending data reported

26A House District 26A


No spending data reported

27A House District 27A
Albert Lea

Total spending: $8,094.00

Candidates:
  • Terry Gjersvik (DFL)
  • Peggy Bennett (R) (Incumbent)
27B House District 27B
Austin

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Jeanne Poppe (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Christine Green (R)
28B House District 28B
Preston

Total spending: $41,015.52

Candidates:
  • Thomas Trehus (DFL)
  • Gregory M. Davids (R) (Incumbent)
55A House District 55A
Shakopee

Total spending: $108,693.64

Candidates:
  • Brad Tabke (DFL)
  • Erik Mortensen (R)
55B House District 55B


No spending data reported

56A House District 56A
Savage

Total spending: $144,724.15

Candidates:
  • Hunter Cantrell (DFL)
  • Drew Christensen (R) (Incumbent)
56B House District 56B
Lakeville

Total spending: $232,361.42

Candidates:
  • Alice Mann (DFL)
  • Roz Peterson (R) (Incumbent)
58A House District 58A


No spending data reported

57A House District 57A
Apple Valley

Total spending: $298,862.22

Candidates:
  • Robert Bierman (DFL)
  • Matt Lundin (R)
57B House District 57B
Rosemount

Total spending: $126,067.77

Candidates:
  • John Huot (DFL)
  • Anna Wills (R) (Incumbent)

Legend

  •   Up to $298,862
  •   Up to $239,089
  •   Up to $179,317
  •   Up to $119,544
  •   Up to $59,772
  •   No spending data reported

DFL-affiliated groups are spending more in Sarah Anderson’s seat in Plymouth than anywhere else in the House, hoping the longtime Republican incumbent, who has withstood DFL waves in the past, won’t be able to pull it off this year. Other Republican-held seats round out DFLers top five independent expenditure districts, including:

  • 34B in Maple Grove, currently held by Republican Dennis Smith;
  • Inver Grove Heights’ 52B (Regina Barr);
  • Eden Prairie’s 48B (Jenifer Loon);
  • and one on the Iron Range, Cohasset’s 5B (Sandra Layman).

With the exception of the Cohasset-area seat, the others are among the 12 Republican-held Minnesota House Districts that favored Clinton in 2016.

Though Republican groups are spending more on the whole in the House, and in most districts, there are some races where DFL groups are spending more than Republicans. One of them is the special election in Senate District 13, in the St. Cloud area, which pits Republican Jeff Howe against Democrat Joe Perske. Control of the Senate wasn’t supposed to be on the ballot this year, but a chain reaction that saw Tina Smith appointed to U.S. Senate and Sen. Michelle Fischbach ascend to lieutenant governor means the Senate — held by Republicans by one seat — is also in play.

Outside IEs for DFL

Greater MinnesotaMetro
2A House District 2A


No spending data reported

1A House District 1A


No spending data reported

1B House District 1B


No spending data reported

2B House District 2B


No spending data reported

6A House District 6A


No spending data reported

6B House District 6B
Virginia

Total spending: $2,969.75

Candidates:
  • Dave Lislegard (DFL)
  • Skeeter Tomczak (R)
3B House District 3B


No spending data reported

3A House District 3A
International Falls

Total spending: $76,915.80

Candidates:
  • Rob Ecklund (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Randy Goutermont (R)
4A House District 4A
Moorhead

Total spending: $227.47

Candidates:
  • Ben Lien (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Jordan Idso (R)
4B House District 4B
Dilworth

Total spending: $15,721.32

Candidates:
  • Paul Marquart (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Jason Peterson (R)
5A House District 5A
Pennington

Total spending: $9,031.81

Candidates:
  • John Persell (DFL)
  • Matt Bliss (R) (Incumbent)
5B House District 5B
Cohasset

Total spending: $104,432.75

Candidates:
  • Pat Medure (DFL)
  • Sandy Layman (R) (Incumbent)
7B House District 7B


No spending data reported

7A House District 7A


No spending data reported

8A House District 8A


No spending data reported

8B House District 8B


No spending data reported

10A House District 10A


No spending data reported

10B House District 10B


No spending data reported

11A House District 11A
Esko

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Mike Sundin (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Jeff A. Dotseth (R)
30A House District 30A


No spending data reported

30B House District 30B


No spending data reported

35A House District 35A


No spending data reported

35B House District 35B


No spending data reported

31B House District 31B
East Bethel

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Sue Larson (DFL)
  • Calvin (Cal) K. Bahr (R) (Incumbent)
32B House District 32B


No spending data reported

12A House District 12A


No spending data reported

9A House District 9A


No spending data reported

9B House District 9B
Little Falls

Total spending: $283.39

Candidates:
  • Stephen Browning (DFL)
  • Ron Kresha (R) (Incumbent)
15B House District 15B
Becker

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Karla Scapanski (DFL)
  • Shane Mekeland (R)
11B House District 11B


No spending data reported

34A House District 34A
Rogers

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Dan Solon (DFL)
  • Kristin Robbins (R)
36A House District 36A
Champlin

Total spending: $68,119.20

Candidates:
  • Zack Stephenson (DFL)
  • Bill Maresh (R)
36B House District 36B
Brooklyn Park

Total spending: $1,698.65

Candidates:
  • Melissa Hortman (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Jermain Botsio (R)
37A House District 37A
Spring Lake Park

Total spending: $83,282.34

Candidates:
  • Erin Koegel (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Anthony Wilder (R)
37B House District 37B
Blaine

Total spending: $86,953.55

Candidates:
  • Amir Joseph Malik (DFL)
  • Nolan West (R) (Incumbent)
38A House District 38A


No spending data reported

38B House District 38B
Dellwood

Total spending: $77,475.20

Candidates:
  • Ami Wazlawik (DFL)
  • Patti Anderson (R)
39A House District 39A
Forest Lake

Total spending: $1,175.06

Candidates:
  • Ann Mozey (DFL)
  • Bob Dettmer (R) (Incumbent)
12B House District 12B


No spending data reported

13A House District 13A
Rockville

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Jim Read (DFL)
  • Lisa Demuth (R)
13B House District 13B


No spending data reported

15A House District 15A


No spending data reported

32A House District 32A


No spending data reported

34B House District 34B
Maple Grove

Total spending: $123,544.13

Candidates:
  • Kristin Bahner (DFL)
  • Dennis Smith (R) (Incumbent)
40A House District 40A


No spending data reported

40B House District 40B


No spending data reported

41A House District 41A


No spending data reported

41B House District 41B


No spending data reported

42A House District 42A
Shoreview

Total spending: $84,930.08

Candidates:
  • Kelly Moller (DFL)
  • Randy Jessup (R) (Incumbent)
42B House District 42B
Roseville

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Yele-Mis Yang (R)
43A House District 43A


No spending data reported

17A House District 17A
Prinsburg

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Lyle Koenen (DFL)
  • Tim Miller (R) (Incumbent)
17B House District 17B


No spending data reported

14A House District 14A
St. Cloud

Total spending: $2,314.32

Candidates:
  • Aric Putnam (DFL)
  • Tama Theis (R) (Incumbent)
14B House District 14B
St. Cloud

Total spending: $67,220.21

Candidates:
  • Dan Wolgamott (DFL)
  • Jim Knoblach (R) (Incumbent)
31A House District 31A


No spending data reported

44A House District 44A
Plymouth

Total spending: $139,877.42

Candidates:
  • Ginny Klevorn (DFL)
  • Sarah Anderson (R) (Incumbent)
45A House District 45A


No spending data reported

45B House District 45B


No spending data reported

59A House District 59A


No spending data reported

60A House District 60A


No spending data reported

66A House District 66A


No spending data reported

66B House District 66B


No spending data reported

67A House District 67A


No spending data reported

43B House District 43B


No spending data reported

39B House District 39B
Stillwater

Total spending: $74,872.58

Candidates:
  • Shelly Christensen (DFL)
  • Kathy Lohmer (R) (Incumbent)
16A House District 16A


No spending data reported

18A House District 18A


No spending data reported

29A House District 29A


No spending data reported

29B House District 29B


No spending data reported

44B House District 44B


No spending data reported

46A House District 46A


No spending data reported

59B House District 59B


No spending data reported

60B House District 60B
Minneapolis

Total spending: $1,308.30

Candidates:
  • Mohamud Noor (DFL)
  • Joseph Patiño (R)
64A House District 64A


No spending data reported

65A House District 65A


No spending data reported

67B House District 67B


No spending data reported

53A House District 53A


No spending data reported

16B House District 16B


No spending data reported

18B House District 18B


No spending data reported

47A House District 47A
Waconia

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Madalynn Gerold (DFL)
  • Jim Nash (R) (Incumbent)
33A House District 33A
Greenfield

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Norrie Thomas (DFL)
  • Jerry Hertaus (R) (Incumbent)
33B House District 33B
Chanhassen

Total spending: $12,780.01

Candidates:
  • Kelly Morrison (DFL)
  • Cindy Pugh (R) (Incumbent)
46B House District 46B


No spending data reported

61A House District 61A


No spending data reported

62A House District 62A


No spending data reported

63A House District 63A


No spending data reported

65B House District 65B


No spending data reported

53B House District 53B
Woodbury

Total spending: $80,959.49

Candidates:
  • Steve Sandell (DFL)
  • Kelly Fenton (R) (Incumbent)
54B House District 54B
Cottage Grove

Total spending: $30,285.18

Candidates:
  • Tina Folch (DFL)
  • Tony Jurgens (R) (Incumbent)
19A House District 19A
North Mankato

Total spending: $82,171.91

Candidates:
  • Jeff Brand (DFL)
  • Kim Spears (R)
20A House District 20A
Elko New Market

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Barbara Dröher Kline (DFL)
  • Bob Vogel (R) (Incumbent)
20B House District 20B
Northfield

Total spending: $13,766.20

Candidates:
  • Todd Lippert (DFL)
  • Josh Gare (R)
58B House District 58B
Farmington

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Marla Vagts (DFL)
  • Patrick Garofalo (R) (Incumbent)
21A House District 21A
Red Wing

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Lori Ann Clark (DFL)
  • Barb Haley (R) (Incumbent)
21B House District 21B


No spending data reported

48A House District 48A
Minnetonka

Total spending: $32,628.02

Candidates:
  • Laurie Pryor (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Ellen Cousins (R)
49A House District 49A
Edina

Total spending: $66,464.70

Candidates:
  • Heather Edelson (DFL)
  • Dario Anselmo (R) (Incumbent)
61B House District 61B


No spending data reported

62B House District 62B


No spending data reported

63B House District 63B


No spending data reported

64B House District 64B


No spending data reported

52A House District 52A


No spending data reported

54A House District 54A
St. Paul Park

Total spending: $102,225.08

Candidates:
  • Anne Claflin (DFL)
  • Keith Franke (R) (Incumbent)
22B House District 22B
Mountain Lake

Total spending: $263.97

Candidates:
  • Cheniqua Johnson (DFL)
  • Rod Hamilton (R) (Incumbent)
19B House District 19B


No spending data reported

23B House District 23B
Lake Crystal

Total spending: $756.47

Candidates:
  • Jim Grabowska (DFL)
  • Jeremy Munson (R) (Incumbent)
25B House District 25B
Rochester

Total spending: $27,435.89

Candidates:
  • Duane Sauke (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Kenneth L. Bush (R)
24B House District 24B
Faribault

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Yvette Marthaler (DFL)
  • Brian Daniels (R) (Incumbent)
25A House District 25A
Byron

Total spending: $1,135.47

Candidates:
  • Jamie Mahlberg (DFL)
  • Duane Quam (R) (Incumbent)
28A House District 28A


No spending data reported

47B House District 47B
Chaska

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Donzel Leggett (DFL)
  • Greg Boe (R)
48B House District 48B
Eden Prairie

Total spending: $117,153.75

Candidates:
  • Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (DFL)
  • Jenifer W. Loon (R) (Incumbent)
49B House District 49B
Edina

Total spending: $1,997.76

Candidates:
  • Steve Elkins (DFL)
  • Matt Sikich (R)
50A House District 50A


No spending data reported

50B House District 50B


No spending data reported

51A House District 51A
Eagan

Total spending: $227.46

Candidates:
  • Sandra Masin (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Jim Kiner (R)
51B House District 51B
Eagan

Total spending: $227.46

Candidates:
  • Laurie Halverson (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Douglas D. Willetts (R)
52B House District 52B
Inver Grove Heights

Total spending: $121,489.71

Candidates:
  • Ruth Richardson (DFL)
  • Regina Barr (R) (Incumbent)
22A House District 22A


No spending data reported

23A House District 23A


No spending data reported

24A House District 24A


No spending data reported

26B House District 26B


No spending data reported

26A House District 26A


No spending data reported

27A House District 27A
Albert Lea

Total spending: $1,326.87

Candidates:
  • Terry Gjersvik (DFL)
  • Peggy Bennett (R) (Incumbent)
27B House District 27B
Austin

Total spending: $11,021.47

Candidates:
  • Jeanne Poppe (DFL) (Incumbent)
  • Christine Green (R)
28B House District 28B
Preston

Total spending: $2,335.58

Candidates:
  • Thomas Trehus (DFL)
  • Gregory M. Davids (R) (Incumbent)
55A House District 55A
Shakopee

No spending data reported

Candidates:
  • Brad Tabke (DFL)
  • Erik Mortensen (R)
55B House District 55B


No spending data reported

56A House District 56A
Savage

Total spending: $67,505.15

Candidates:
  • Hunter Cantrell (DFL)
  • Drew Christensen (R) (Incumbent)
56B House District 56B
Lakeville

Total spending: $85,463.92

Candidates:
  • Alice Mann (DFL)
  • Roz Peterson (R) (Incumbent)
58A House District 58A


No spending data reported

57A House District 57A
Apple Valley

Total spending: $70,976.58

Candidates:
  • Robert Bierman (DFL)
  • Matt Lundin (R)
57B House District 57B
Rosemount

Total spending: $86,248.46

Candidates:
  • John Huot (DFL)
  • Anna Wills (R) (Incumbent)

Legend

  •   Up to $139,877
  •   Up to $111,901
  •   Up to $83,926
  •   Up to $55,950
  •   Up to $27,975
  •   No spending data reported

The seat is in a fairly Republican territory and had been held by Fischbach for a long time. But the prospect of an open seat and control of the Senate may be attracting money from DFL groups, even if the chances aren’t great. DFL-affiliated groups have spent $675,000 to Republicans’ $354,000.

Republican groups are far-and-away outspending DFL groups in the House, but the opposite is true in the governor’s race, where spending in favor the DFL outstrips spending in favor of Republicans by nearly 5:1.

What it all means

Where the two sides have put their money could be an indicator of where they think they have their best shot to control a branch of government.

Republicans might see maintaining their majority in the House, by either holding on to some, all, or gaining on their margin as their best shot this year.

Independent expenditures by party benefitted in the governor's race and House races
Source: Minnesota Campaign Finance Board

Johnson was asked about the gap between outside spending for his campaign and the spending to help Walz and said he didn’t know what the election-day impact would be.

“We went into this planning to win it alone and we have had help from some folks and we appreciate that,” he said. “But this is not unusual in Minnesota. The left outside groups almost always spend more than the outside groups on the right, by a lot. The same thing happened four years ago.”

After eight years of control of the governor’s office, and with Walz ahead of Johnson in the polls (within the margin of error, in most), Democrats may be more concerned with keeping control of the governor’s office for another four years. They may also see it as the best bang for their buck, given Republicans’ sizable margin in the House.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 11/04/2018 - 10:40 pm.

    “Another Republican spending target, 37A in Spring Lake Park went for Trump by a small margin, but elected DFLer Erin Koegel in 2016.”

    Living in Rep. Koegel”s district we receive a DFL (or affiliate) mailing every other day, sometimes two, which is pretty much the same as two years ago. We have two mailings from her opponent (or an affiliate) from this whole election season.

    If the Repubs are targeting us, they have very poor aim.

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