Ousted Eagan Sen. Ted Daley (R), who was defeated at the polls on Tuesday by Democratic challenger Jim Carlson, said voters sent a clear message by handing control of Eagan's legislative seats—and the Minnesota Legislature—to the Democrats.
"They spoke, and they spoke loudly. It was clear they wanted to see a different direction," Daley said on Wednesday morning. "It wasn’t just a loss for Ted Daley here in Eagan … it was a wave election."
Daley was defeated by 2,873 votes in Senate District 51, which includes most of Eagan and portions of Burnsville. Carlson took roughly 53 percent of the vote. Republicans were also defeated in both House District 51A and 51B. Defeated Reps. Doug Wardlow (R) and Diane Anderson (R) weren't immediately available for comment.
The margin of victory for Carlson was wider than Daley expected, the legislator said.
"I expected it would be close, and I actually thought it would be closer than what the final numbers were," Daley said. "I thought it would be 51 [percent] to 49 [percent], one way or the other."
Daley encouraged the Democrats, who now control the Minnesota House and Senate, to keep the focus on jobs and private sector economic growth.
But he was also dismayed by the Republican turnover statewide. The political instability of a legislature that swings widely each election is tough on Minnesota business owners, who need some modicum of political consistency, Daley said.
"We have to come up with ways to provide certainty for business owners so when they’re looking at the long-term plan, they're not getting whip-sawed every two years," Daley said. “That’s really tough on not just business owners and job creators, but on nonprofit organizations, our churches. All of our communities are lurching back and forth, because our policies are going back and forth."
Click on the links below for more Patch election coverage:
- Twin Cities Area Voters Take to Social Media To Talk Election
- UPDATED: Eagan a Clean Sweep for the Democrats
- Election Results 2012: Voters Choose Lorie Skjerven Gildea for Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice