05House races in SE Minnesota/md
By Matthew Stolle
Two years after Democrats swept through southeastern Minnesota, Republicans were able to pick off a couple of seats, beating freshman legislators Sandy Wollschlager and Ken Tschumper.
DFLers looked to fall short of their goal to gain five seats to lock up a 90-vote, veto-proof majority when they face Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
But their gains only seemed to be offset by losses elsewhere, including the two seats in southeastern Minnesota: Wollschlager from Cannon Falls and Tschumber from La Crescent.
Here is breakdown of races for the Minnesota House of Representatives in the region:
House District 27A
• DFL Rep. Robin Brown of Austin won a second term to the state House, defeating GOP challenger Erik Larsen 10,960 votes to 8,031 votes or 58 percent to 42 percent.
House District 27B
• DFL Rep. Jeanne Poppe of Austin turned back GOP challenger Brian Thiel, winning a third two-year term. Poppe won 10,652 votes to Thiel’s 5,505 votes, or 66 percent to 34 percent.
House District 28A
• GOP challenger Tim Kelly of Red Wing won a first term, besting freshman DFL Rep. Sandy Wollschlager 10,702 votes to 9,911 votes or 52 percent to 48 percent.
House District 28B
• In a rematch, GOP Rep. Steven Drazkowski turned back DFL challenger Linda Pfeilsticker for a second time 10,980 votes to 9,050 votes or 55 percent to 45 percent. Drazkowski won the seat a year ago in a special election after former House Speaker Steve Sviggum retired.
House District 29A
• GOP Rep. Randy Demmer of Hayfield easily won a fourth straight term, coasting to victory over DFL challenger Jim Jensen, a Dodge County sheriff’s deputy, 13,638 votes to 10,583 votes, or 56 percent to 44 percent.
House District 29B
• DFL Rep. Kim Norton of Rochester won a second term to the House, beating Jason Johnson, an independent technology contractor, 12,142 votes to 7,553 votes or 62 percent to 38 percent.
House District 30A
• Four years after becoming the first Democrat to win a House seat from the Rochester area, DFL Rep. Tina Liebling earned a third term, defeating Rochester businessman Jake Dettinger 10,768 votes to 6,624 votes or 62 percent to 38 percent.
House District 30B
• DFL Rep. Andy Welti of Plainview defeated Stewartville farmer Bill Kuisle for a third straight time, winning 13,478 votes to 10,763 votes or 56 percent to 44 percent.
House District 31A
• DFL Rep. Gene Pelowski won a 12th term to the state House, winning by a two-to-one ratio over GOP challenger Rhett Zenke, 12,938 votes to 6,137 votes or 68 percent to 32 percent.
House District 31B
• Two years after losing his House seat to DFL Rep. Ken Tschumper, Greg Davids of Preston won back the seat by 407 votes, 9,873 votes to 9,466 votes or 51 percent to 48 percent.