'Blue Wave' Sweeps Republicans from Minnesota House, Senate

Democrats say the divisive amendments and the state shutdown may have contributed to heavy Republican losses.

After just two years at the helm of the Minnesota Legislature, Republicans lost control of both the House and Senate on Tuesday night—a defeat at least some Democrats are attributing in part to the marriage and Voter ID amendments.

Going into Election Day, Republicans controlled the House 72-61 and the Senate 37-30. While votes in some districts were still being counted early Wednesday, Republicans conceded that they lost both majorities in the early morning hours, according to Twin Cities media reports. The DFL needed to pick up just four seats in the Senate and six seats in the House.

Democrats swept six of seven legislative races in Plymouth, which included wins for incumbent Senator Terri Bonoff (DFL-44), State Representative John Benson (DFL-44B), Senator Ann Rest (DFL-45), State Representative Lyndon Carlson (DFL-45A), Ron Latz for Senate (DFL-46) and for State Representative Ryan Winkler (DFL-46A). The only race with a GOP incumbent retaining their seat was District 44A where Sarah Anderson beat out DFL opponent Audrey Britton.

The weight of a presidential election, the thorny issues presented by the marriage and Voter ID amendments and a state shutdown earlier this summer may have all been contributing factors in the "blue wave" that swept the state, according to newly-elected legislators Jim Carlson and Sandra Masin.


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