Area voters helped the DFL regain control of the Minnesota Senate and House at Tuesday’s general election.
Two Republican Senate incumbents were beaten – Benjamin Kruse in District 36 and Pam Wolf in Senate District 37.
Both had been elected to the Senate in 2010 when the GOP took control of the Legislature.
Kruse, Brooklyn Park, was ousted by Anoka-Hennepin School Board member John Hoffman, Champlin, the DFL candidate in a Senate district that includes parts of Coon Rapids in Anoka County, as well as Champlin, Dayton and parts of Brooklyn Park in Hennepin County.
Former DFL State Rep. Alice Johnson, Spring Lake Park, has returned to the Legislature after several years’ absence by defeating Wolf, also from Spring Lake Park, in Senate district which covers parts of Blaine, Coon Rapids and Spring Lake Park. Johnson served in the House for 14 years.
The DFL also picked up an open House seat, 37A, when Jerry Newton, Coon Rapids, beat Mandy Benz, Coon Rapids. Newton is also back in the Legislature after losing a 2010 House race.
Republicans did pick up one area House seat from the DFL with the retirement of DFL State Rep. Denise Dittrich, Champlin.
In District 36A, which includes parts of Coon Rapids, Champlin Mayor Mark Uglem, GOP, defeated DFLer Grace Baltich, Champlin.
And Republicans also won an open Senate seat in Anoka County, where no incumbent was running.
Republican Branden Petersen, Andover, who had served in the Minnesota House since 2010, beat DFLer Peter Perovich, Ramsey, in District 35.
Incumbents re-elected to the Senate were Michelle Benson, Ham Lake, in District 31, and Roger Chamberlain, Lino Lakes, in District 38.
House incumbents re-elected were Republicans Kurt Daudt, Zimmerman in District 31A; Tom Hackbarth, Cedar, in District 31B; Jim Abeler, Anoka, in District 35A; Peggy Scott, Andover, in District 35B; Tim Sanders, Blaine, in District 37B; and Linda Runbeck, Circle Pines, in District 38A.
DFLer Melissa Hortman, Brooklyn Park, was re-elected to the House in District 36B.
Vote totals in the Minnesota Senate and House races in the ABC Newspapers coverage area were:
• Senate District 31: Benson, 24,774; Mike Starr, DFL-Oak Grove, 17,423. In Anoka County, the district includes East Bethel, Bethel, Ham Lake, Oak Grove, St. Francis, Nowthen, Columbus, Linwood and parts of Andover.
• Senate District 35: Petersen, 22,874; Perovich, 19,253. The district covers Anoka and Ramsey and parts of Andover and Coon Rapids.
• Senate District 36: Hoffman, 22,197; Kruse, 19,523. The district includes part of Coon Rapids, as well as Brooklyn Park, Champlin and Dayton in Hennepin County.
• Senate District 37: Johnson, 22,814; Wolf, 19,962. The district encompasses parts of Blaine, Coon Rapids and Spring Lake Park.
• Senate District 38: Chamberlain, 23,817; Timothy Henderson, DFL-Lino Lakes, 20,849. The district in Anoka County includes part of Blaine as well as Centerville, Circle Pines, Lino Lakes and Lexington.
• House District 31A: Daudt, 11,990; DFLer Ryan Fiereck, Bethel, 7,823. In Anoka County, the district covers Nowthen, St. Francis, Bethel and part of Oak Grove.
• House District 31B: Hackbarth, 13,101; Louise Woodberry, DFL-Oak Grove, 8,391. The district encompasses East Bethel, Ham Lake, Linwood, Columbus and parts of Oak Grove and Andover.
• House District 35A: Abeler, 11,906; Andy Hillebregt, DFL-Ramsey, 6,755; Justin Boals, Independence Party-Anoka, 1,587. The district includes Anoka and Ramsey.
• House District 35B: Peggy Scott, 13,120; DFLer Sam Scott, Andover, 9,052. The district covers parts of Andover and Coon Rapids.
• House District 36A: Uglem, 10,691; Baltich, 10,235. Part of Coon Rapids represents Anoka County in the district, which also includes the Hennepin County communities of Champlin and Dayton.
• House District 36B: Hortman, 11,682; Andrew Reinhardt, GOP-Brooklyn Park, 8,557; Andrew Kratoska, Independence Party-Brooklyn Park, 891; Part of Coon Rapids is in this district along with Brooklyn Park.
• House District 37A: Newton, 11,843; Benz, 8,830. The district encompasses parts of Blaine, Coon Rapids and Spring Lake Park.
• House District 37B: Sanders, 11,416; DFLer Jon Chlebeck, Blaine, 9,723. The district includes most of Blaine.
• House District 38A: Runbeck, 12,199; Patrick Davern, DFL-Lino Lakes, 8,803. The district includes part of Blaine plus Centerville, Circle Pines, Lino Lakes and Lexington.
Peter Bodley is at email@example.com