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Though the U.S. Senate race seemed to hold the most promise for a close race, it was the governor's race in Minnesota that grabbed the election-night headlines. Incumbent Tim Pawlenty held onto his office by just 22,000 votes over DFLer Mike Hatch. But Pawlenty saw his GOP colleagues swept out of office. In the Senate race, DFLer Amy Klobuchar easily beat Rep. Mark Kennedy.

The retirement of Sen. Mark Dayton sparked early interest in the campaign, with Rep. Mark Kennedy jumping in early. But a year later, Kennedy emerged as the lone Republican for the job, and Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar's strength was forcing several Democrats, including Patty Wetterling, out of the race.

The Senate race immediately attracted national attention, but as Klobuchar surged ahead of Kennedy in the polls, much national attention turned to the 6th District, where Patty Wetterling and state Sen. Michele Bachmann were the major contenders. Bachmann beat Wettlerling. It was Wetterling's second straight loss in the district. In the 5th, Rep. Keith Ellison became the first Muslim congressman. And in the 1st, incumbent Gil Gutknecht was defeated by DFLer Tim Walz.
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The major party candidates for governor squared off on Thursday for the first time since their primary victories earlier this week. Pawlenty and Hatch took shots at each other, largely ignoring the Independence Party's Peter Hutchinson. (09/14/2006)
NPR political analyst Cokie Roberts talks about covering and commenting on Congress. And she reaches back into her beginnings in journalism. (Midmorning, 09/14/2006)
Alan Fine is trying to do what Keith Ellison's DFL rivals couldn't: capitalize on reports of Ellison's past. Fine calls Ellison "unfit" to serve. (09/13/2006)
The seat has been dominated by DFLers for decades, but Ellison's Republican opponent in November says he'll question Ellison's character, a campaign theme that was used over the summer by Ellison's DFL opponents. (09/13/2006)
Democrat Dean Johnson, the state Senate's Majority Leader, easily defeated a political newcomer who claimed Johnson wasn't conservative enough for his west central Minnesota district. Republican state Sen. Paul Koering also defeated a challenger who criticized the openly gay lawmaker for opposing a Senate vote on a gay marriage ban in 2005. (09/13/2006)
Minnesota Solicitor General Lori Swanson will take on Rep. Jeff Johnson. But the closest race was in the Independence Party. (09/13/2006)
Republican incumbent Tim Pawlenty, DFLer Mike Hatch and the Independence Party's Peter Hutchinson will face off in the November election, and the barbs have already started. (09/13/2006)
Now that the primary election is over, attention turns to the November general election and head-to-head matches. The big battles are for U.S. Senate and governor in Minnesota, as well as congressional races, especially in the 2nd, and 6th Districts. (Midday, 09/13/2006)
Primary day is here! Voters get to decide today which candidates will compete in the November general elections, and which ones won't. (Midday, 09/12/2006)
DFLer Becky Lourey, Republican Sue Jeffers and the Independence Party's Pam Ellison say they have better positions on the issues than the three candidates they're challenging. (09/11/2006)
Opponent Michael Cruze says he's running because Johnson, in his position as Senate majority leader, recently blocked legislation dealing with abortion and gay marriage. (09/11/2006)
Christian evangelical leaders are launching voter registration drives in some battleground states, including Minnesota and Ohio. They're concerned that discontent with the Republican Party could suppress voter turnout among conservatives. But one congregration won't take an active role in politics. (09/10/2006)
Minnesota primary turnout has dropped steadily since 1998. It hasn't cracked 20 percent in a dozen years, and fell to single digits two years ago. (09/10/2006)
The primary election is four days away. Minnesota Public Radio's political editor and reporters take a look at the races that will be decided next Tuesday. (Midday, 09/08/2006)
State Rep. Neil Peterson, of Bloomington, faces a Republican challenger in next Tuesday's primary election. Peterson's opponent is upset about his support of the tax increase for the new Twins stadium, and hopes voter discontent over the ballpark tax helps his campaign. (09/08/2006)

Election Wrap-up

  • Results: Final numbers and maps
  • Policast: Daily podcast of political news
  • Event: Election Night Policy and a Pint