The Election is just around the corner, November 3rd and a lot of choices are on the ballots of Minnesotans. The absentee ballot process in Minnesota has been expanded due to COVID and already over 1 million Minnesotans have cast their ballot. There are significant races both at the State and Federal levels that will impact our schools and education system.
All 201 Minnesota legislators are up for election this fall, and which puts control of both the House and Senate up for grabs. The House currently has a DFL majority of 75 seats (68 is needed for control) and they are looking to hold on to their gains from 2018 and add pick up some seats in the outer suburban areas. The GOP House Caucus is hoping to capitalize on the outstate support of President Trump to win districts in greater Minnesota and take back some of the suburban seats they lost in 2018.
Republicans hold a slim two seat majority in the Senate (35-32). They will try to expand that number by also looking to seats in the outstate areas the increase their total. The DFL is looking at seats in the suburbs, specifically in Plymouth, Maple Grove, Burnsville, and White Bear Lake in hopes of flipping the Senate to DFL control.
The projected significant state budget deficit and how it is resolved will be the biggest task in front of the new legislature when it convenes in January. Additionally, and importantly for the next decade the next legislature will be tasked with redrawing legislative district lines. A sweep by one party could have big impacts.
Federally, we have all 8 congressional seats, Tina Smith’s Senate seat and of course the presidential election. For Congress seats several seats are being closely watched nationally. In southern Minnesota Congressional District 1 sees first term congressman Jim Hagedorn (GOP) with a rematch against Dan Feehan (DFL). Hagedorn has been plagued by ethics complaints in his first term but Feehan will need to overcome a district previously carried by Trump. Congressional District 7 along the western border has longtime Congressman Colin Peterson (DFL) being challenged by former State Senate Michelle Fischbach (GOP). Peterson will be challenged to once again try and prevail in an area that will likely be carried by a President Trump in wide numbers.
Finally, the Presidential race between President Trump and Joe Biden. Minnesota was closer than many expected in 2016 but current polls show Biden with a significant lead in the state and nationally.