District 27 solidly behind the DFL
By Matthew Stolle
Austin and Albert Lea turned District 27 solidly DFL as voters elected DFL candidates to the two state House seats and one Senate seat.
DFL Rep. Jeanne Poppe defeated GOP challenger Jeff Anderson for House District 27B. Poppe won with 56 percent of the vote to Anderson’s 43 percent. It was the third consecutive race between the two candidates, with Poppe winning the last two after Anderson won the first race in 2002. Poppe will find herself in the majority party for the first time when she returns to St. Paul for the 2007 legislative session.
DFL Sen. Dan Sparks easily prevailed over GOP candidate and pastor George Marin, an Albert Lea city council member. Marin campaigned on several social issues, including his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. But Sparks, who was first elected in 2002, won by a large margin, 68 percent to 32 percent, to hold on to Senate District 27.
House District 27A, which became an open seat after GOP Rep. Dan Dorman retired after four terms, will be represented by DFL candidate Robin Brown. An Albert Lea High School teacher, Brown beat GOP candidate Matt Benda, an Albert Lea attorney, by more than 285 votes in a close race.