For most candidates getting past the primary election is merely the first electoral hurdle that must be surmounted prior to joining the Legislature. But for candidates in districts that tilt heavily in favor of either the DFL or GOP, the primary race can effectively serve as the only meaningful contest.
In six districts that had competitive primary contests on Tuesday, there will likely be token opposition in the general election campaign. Each of the districts have partisan voting indexes of at least +8 percentage points, according to a pair of metrics created by Common Cause Minnesota and LeftMN’s Tony Petrangelo. That means, barring extraordinary developments, they will join the Legislature in 2013. Here’s a rundown of the six contests:
Jason Metsa, House District 6B:Metsa defeated two rivals to secure the DFL nomination for the Iron Range seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Tom Rukavina. The partisan voting index favors the DFL by at least 15 percentage points.
David Osmek, Senate District 33: In the most rancorous race in the state, Osmek prevailed by just 107 votes. The district tilts in favor of GOP candidates by at least 14 percentage points.
Cindy Pugh, House District 33B: The Tea Party activist prevailed in a landslide against 11-term GOP Rep. Steve Smith, taking 70 percent of the vote. GOP candidates enjoy a generic advantage of at least 10 percentage points in the district.
Tony Albright, House District 55B: Albright took more than 75 percent of the vote in the contest to replace retiring Rep. Mark Buesgens. The Scott County seat swings GOP by at least 17 percentage points.
Raymond Dehn, House District 59B: Dehn won Tuesday’s closest contest, prevailing by just 19 votes in the contest to replace Rep. Bobby Joe Champion, who is headed to the Senate. The district tilts in favor of DFL candidates by at least 29 percentage points.
Foung Hawj, Senate District 67: This was arguably the night’s biggest upset. Hawj prevailed over Robert Humphrey and Tom Dimond in the contest to replace retiring Sen. John Harrington on St. Paul’s East Side. DFL candidates enjoy a generic advantage of at least 19 percentage points in the district.