by Peggy Bakken
ECM Sun Newspapers
Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen has won re-election in the Third Congressional District race against challenger Brian Barnes.
With nearly 77 percent of precincts reporting, Barnes conceded the race to Paulsen, who earned 58 percent of votes and Barnes had 41.5 percent, as of 11:15 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Paulsen gave his victory speech when approximately 50 percent of precincts had reported their numbers, showing Paulsen with more than 60 percent of those votes.
The news was well received during the Republican’s election party at the Hilton Minneapolis-Bloomington Tuesday night, since it came shortly after Kurt Bills gave his concession speech in his run against Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
The crowd cheered not only over Paulsen’s win, but other expected results for the makeup of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“We got one win on the board, and look this is going to be a long night. … There are more wins to come, without any doubt. The good news is the House is going to stay in hands of the Republican majority.”
After 77 percent of precincts reported, Barnes called Paulsen to congratulate him on a victory and then released a statement to the press.
“Tonight didn’t end as we would’ve liked, but this campaign has never been about just one election,” Barnes said in the statement.
“We set out on this journey 15 months ago to raise important issues and to change the tone in Washington, D.C. Win or lose, Election Day was always simply a marker we’d have to pass on the road to building a politics worthy of all Minnesotans and all Americans.”