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Democrats take back state House, Republicans keep Senate

Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt has conceded that Democrats will take back control of the chamber, while Republicans won a high-stakes special election to keep control of the Minnesota Senate.

Daudt told The Associated Press that Republicans will lose the majority in the House after Democrats flipped more than a dozen suburban districts. Democrats needed to win 11 districts to win back control of the chamber for the first time since 2014.

High turnout in the Minneapolis area and surrounding suburbs helped power Democrats up and down the ballot to victory. Democratic candidate Tim Walz also won Tuesday’s race for governor.

The final margin of Democrats’ majority in the House wasn’t immediately clear as votes are still being counted.

In a decisive Senate race, GOP state Rep. Jeff Howe beat Democrat Joe Perske, a county commissioner, on Tuesday. Howe’s victory preserves Republicans’ 34-33 majority.

The district surrounding St. Cloud is considered safely GOP but Democrats pounced on a chance to retake control of the chamber. The Senate was left deadlocked at 33-33 after Republican Sen. Michelle Fischbach vacated her seat to be sworn in as lieutenant governor.

Both candidates played up their experience in the area as outside political groups poured hundreds of thousands of dollars in to influence the race. Howe has represented half the district in the House.

Perske was also former mayor of Sartell.

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