UPDATED: 9 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7:
Just two years after Republicans were swept into Eagan's three legislative seats on a wave of Tea Party sentiment, Democrats appear to have reversed the tide, according to state election results posted early Wednesday morning.
At least two Eagan politicians, Senate District 51 candidate Jim Carlson (DFL) and House District 51B candidate Laurie Halverson (DFL), publicly declared victory early Wednesday morning. In House District 51A, challenger Sandy Masin (DFL) also defeated incumbent Diane Anderson (R), according to posted results.
Click here for unofficial voting results for Eagan's local races from the Minnesota Secretary of State.
With all local precincts reporting, the state's unofficial voting results indicate that Carlson claimed 23,969 votes—or 53.09 percent, to Daley's 21,096 votes in the Senate District 51 race. In House District 51A, Masin took 55.49 percent of the vote to Anderson's 44.28 percent, while in a closer race Halverson tallied 51.88 percent to Wardlow's 48.01 percent to complete the Democratic sweep.
"It's elation that the public really saw what was happening, and reversed a lot of what ad been going on down at the legislature," Carlson said, when asked how he felt about his apparent victory early Wednesday morning. "We not only had a victory in a tough campaign ... but we also had a victory against some very well-funded outside interests."
Carlson believes both the Voter ID and marriage amendment questions helped galvanize voters against conservative candidates, but he also attributed his likely victory to plenty of old-fashioned door-knocking and grunt work by his volunteer supporters.
In a 1:45 a.m. phone call, Halverson also declared victory in House District 51B.
"I think this is really a statement by the voters of Eagan that they want to see a government that works, and that they want to see a legislature that works together," Halverson said.
Noting that Eagan has historically been closely divided when it comes to politics, Halverson pledged to listen to residents no matter their political leanings and bring residents together.
"I definitely want to thank the voters of Eagan," she added. "I love this community so, so much, and to have the voters choose me to be their voice for the next two years, it's the most humbling experience I've had in my life."
Masin, reached just before 9 a.m. on Wednesday, thanked her volunteers and support she received from local organizations and fellow legislative candidates. Like Carlson, Masin believes the failed Voter ID and marriage amendment initiatives worked against Republican candidates. But the state shutdown early this summer also tarnished the image of sitting legislators, she said.
"I think this year, people understood that if you want change, you really have to work at it, and they did," Masin said.
In other local elections, Eagan City Council incumbent candidates Cyndee Fields and Meg Tilley, who were running unopposed, were re-elected to four-year terms. In Senate District 52, which includes one Eagan precinct, Sen. Jim Metzen (DFL) won an easy re-election, while incumbent Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL) also staved off a challenger, according to Dakota County numbers.
In Minnesota's Second Congressional District, which includes Dakota County, Rep. John Kline (R) defeated Eagan challenger Mike Obermueller (DFL).
Click on the links below for more Patch election coverage:
- Twin Cities Area Voters Take to Social Media To Talk Election
- Daley: Voters Sent a "Clear" Message to Ousted Republicans
- Election Results 2012: Voters Choose Lorie Skjerven Gildea for Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice