Minnesota Republicans, buoyed by national congressional gains and an increasing tide of conservative sentiment, are queueing up to challenge incumbent DFL state legislators this year.
Incumbent DFLers in five Senate districts and eight House districts have attracted two or more GOP challengers so far, according to the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, which updates its website once a day to reflect newly registered candidates.
Two incumbents — Sen. Jim Carlson, DFL-Eagan, and Rep. Jeremy Kalin, DFL-North Branch — have four GOP challengers apiece so far, and one, Sen. Kevin Dahle, DFL-Northfield, has three.
Two DFL senators, Jim Vickerman of Tracy and Steve Murphy of Red Wing, don’t plan to run for re-election, and each seat has attracted a pair of Republican hopefuls: Kim Hummel and Mike Garber, both of Jackson, are vying for the endorsement to run for Vickerman’s seat, and John Howe of Red Wing and Rod Johnson of Cannon Falls hope to succeed Murphy.
Here are the districts currently in DFL hands that have attracted two more Republican hopefuls:
Senate District 16: Sen. Lisa Fobbe, DFL-Zimmerman, has two Republican challengers: Jason White of Big Lake and Patrick Munro of Princeton.
Senate District 25: Dahle is being challenged by Republicans William Paulsen of Lonsdale, Alan DeKruif of Elysian and Jack Baker of Northfield.
Senate District 31: Republicans Paul Ibisch of LaCrescent and Jeremy Miller of Winona are vying to unseat incumbent Sen. Sharon Erickson Ropes, DFL-Winona.
Senate District 38: Carlson’s four GOP challengers are David Carlson, Rob Lambert, Mike Kaess and Ted Daley, all of Eagan.
Senate District 53: Incumbent Rep. Sandy Rummel, DFL-White Bear Lake, has two Republican challengers: Blake Huffman of Shoreview and Roger Chamberlain of Lino Lakes.
House District 8B: Rep. Tim Faust, DFL-Hinckley, is facing GOP challenges from Rudy Takala of Pine City and Roger Crawford of Mora.
House District 12A: Two Brainerd Republicans hope to unseat incumbent Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd: Zachariah Jackson and Ryan Hartwig.
House District 17B: Kalin’s four GOP challengers are Jeremy Lindman of Lindstrom, Russell Goudge and Sheldon Anderson of Wyoming, and Robert Barrett of Shafer.
House District 23B: Rep. Kathy Brynaert, DFL-Mankato, faces two Republican challengers from Mankato: Dave Kruse and Willa Dailey.
House District 26B: Rep. Patti Fritz, DFL-Faribault, is facing challenges from Republicans Daniel Kaiser of Medford and Matthew Drevlow of Faribault.
House District 40B: Rep. Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, has two GOP challengers, both from Bloomington: Richard Bohnen and Sanu Patel-Zellinger.
House District 41B: Two Republicans are challenging Rep. Paul Rosenthal, DFL-Edina: Patrick Mazorol and William Reichert, both of Bloomington.
House District 49B: Rep. Jerry Newton, DFL-Coon Rapids, has picked up two Republican opponents: Kristopher Olson of Coon Rapids and Branden Petersen of Andover.