Philanthropist and businessman Dean Phillips defeated five-term incumbent Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen in the Minnesota 3rd District on Election Day, by a 56-44 percent margin.
“I thank you for entrusting me to represent you in the 116th Congress of the United States,” Phillips told a raucous crowd at the Bloomington Hilton Tuesday night. “Tonight is not an end, it’s a beginning. We demonstrated that by working together and engaging in conversation with our neighbors, we can overcome hatred, divisiveness, and tribalism, and begin to repair our faults as a nation and individuals.”
Phillips, with the win, becomes the first Jewish Minnesotan elected to the House of Representatives.
“I didn’t know that,” Phillips said to TC Jewfolk after his victory speech. “I’m overjoyed to know that. But I’ll confess, I was more focused on the fact there hasn’t been a Democrat in this district since 1958.”
Phillips said he was surprised by both the early concession call from Paulsen and the margin of victory. Hillary Clinton had won the district in the 2016 Presidential election, but Paulsen easily won re-election.
“It’s a testament to the people in this room and two years of awfully hard work,” Phillips said.
Although the vote nationwide isn’t final yet, it is being projected by national news outlets that Democrats will be in control of the House of Representatives. Phillips, as part of that majority, is looking forward to working with Republicans.
“It’s incumbent on those in the majority to be cooperators and collaborators,” he said. “I take that responsibility seriously and I intend to honor that.”
Minnesota 2nd Congressional District
In a second flipped district in the suburbs, Shir Tikvah member Angie Craig avenged a 2016 loss to Rep. Jason Lewis, defeating the Republican in the rematch 52-47. Technically, Craig is the first Democrat elected to the seat, which was created by redistricting prior to the 2002 election. John Kline had won the district by at least 8 points in each of his elections. Lewis won by fewer than two in the first meeting with Craig.
The district covers the south Twin Cities metro area and contains all of Scott, Dakota, Goodhue, and Wabasha counties. It also contains part of northern and eastern Rice County including the city of Northfield, and southern Washington County.
Minnesota Secretary of State
Incumbent Secretary of State Steve Simon (DFL) won a second term after defeating challenger John Howe by 11 points. Simon had served in the Minnesota Legislature for 10 years prior to winning the secretary of state election in 2014.
Minnesota House District 49A
Heather Edelson, who unsuccessfully ran for the DFL endorsement in 2016 only to see the incumbent Democrat lose in the general election, flipped the seat with a 58-42 percent win over incumbent Dario Anselmo. The win was the first in a wave throughout the suburbs that will lift the DFL into the majority in the State House when the session opens in January. Republicans had a 10-seat majority going into Election Day.
Minnesota House District 61A
DFL Rep. Frank Hornstein won re-election with more than 86 percent of the vote over Jeremy Hansen to be elected to a 9th term in the State House.
Minnesota House District 44B
Gary Porter, a one-time chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party, lost his bid to win an open seat in this West Metro district to Patty Acomb, 63-37 percent. The seat had been held by Jon Applebaum, who decided to not run for re-election after two terms in the State House.
Minnesota House District 26A
Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL) won her 8th election to the Minnesota House, defeating Paul Wilson 63-37 percent. Liebling has represented the Rochester area since 2004.