District 46 incumbents will hold on to their seats for another term.
Sen. Ron Latz and Reps. Ryan Winkler and Steve Simon, who are all members of the DFL, easily toppled their Republican challengers in Tuesday’s election.
- Scroll down to see results.
Latz defeated Paul Scofield 67 percent to 33 percent. Winkler beat John Swanson in the House District 46A race 66 percent to 34 percent. In the District 46B race, Simon took 70 percent of the vote compared to David Arvidson's 30 percent.
Said Latz: “I’m very excited to be able to go back to the Senate and continue working on the issues and community values."
The results were not a surprise. The Senate district leans toward the DFL by a whopping 32 points, according to MinnPost. Democrats have an even larger 36-point advantage in House District 46B, while they have a 28-point head start in District 46A.
Latz said he didn’t think there was any single issue that led to the wins, but he speculated that voters like his support for public education and the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit line.
Scofield’s performance wasn’t helped by a mix-up in the primary. He decided after filing that he didn’t want in the race and announced at a July 24 candidates forum that he would actually be supporting Roger Champagne. Local Republicans urged party members to get behind Champagne, but Scofield wound up taking 56 percent of the primary vote.
Scofield said he doesn’t think that was an issue.
“I tried to educate people. Obviously, I’m not as successful—perhaps because I don’t have as much money as Mr. Latz,” he said. “A lot of the conversion happens one voter at a time. Unfortunately, Mr. Latz relies on a lot of low-information voters.”
Arvidson said he had hopes that the 2010 Republican gains could be extended into his own district. After this race, he’s not so sure whether that’s going to happen. But he still thinks his campaign was worthwhile simply for providing a dissenting voice.
“If there isn’t any opposition to that, you’re living in a dictatorship. It’s crazy. You’ve got to have some opposing opinion,” he said.
Simon said the lack of polling for state legislative districts means it’s not possible to know with 100 percent certainty what drove the strong support for the incumbents. But he added that he thinks voters valued their willingness to compromise in order to get things done.
“My gut reaction is—I hope, at least—that people appreciated a message of balance and (focus on) key issues, such as education and transportation,” Simon said. “I’m certainly very optimistic and very gratified at what appears to have happened, that the people of my district hired me for another two years.”
District 46 Races
*Candidates with asterisks before their names are incumbents.Senate District 46
Name Total Votes Percentage Percent counted *Ron Latz
29744 66.82 100 Paul Scofield
14676 32.97 100 District 46A
Name Total Votes Percentage Percent counted John Swanson
33.96 100 *Ryan Winkler
65.89 100 District 46B
Name Total Votes Percentage Percent counted David Arvidson
100 *Steve Simon