The three University-area incumbents in the State Legislature won re-election bids Tuesday by wide margins.
Voters re-elected Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis; Rep. Jim Davnie, DFL-Minneapolis; and Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul; who represent the East Bank, the West Bank and St. Paul campus areas, respectively.
District 59B – East Bank
Long-time Democratic incumbent Phyllis Kahn ran against three challengers: Amanda Hutchings, Republican Party; Becki Smith, Green Party; and Ron Lischeid, Independence Party.
With all precincts reporting, Kahn had collected 59 percent of the vote. Hutchings was the nearest challenger with 22 percent. Smith and Lischeid collected 13 and 6 percent, respectively.
Kahn said she was pleased to be re-elected, though with three opponents her vote margin decreased.
“As I said before, the major issue is the budget,” she said. “And I hope whoever is in control will look at issues important to young voters.”
Hutchings, a University student, said she was feeling bittersweet. She said it was good that three people opposed Kahn because it shows that people want to see new faces and ideas in the district, she said.
“People love the status quo because it’s comfortable and easy,” she said.
Hutchings said she encourages people to continue to run against Kahn.
Smith said she is disappointed with the loss, but has grown as a person and political candidate. She said she will run for office again.
“We need to keep fighting and keep working,” she said. “We have a lot of learning to do as a party and as individuals.”
Matt Tajbakhsh, a Smith campaign worker, said he felt Smith’s campaign worked the hardest in the district.
Lischeid said, “The results are in the hands of the voters.”
He said it was hard to say whether he would run again in two years, but added he might run for Minneapolis City Council next year.
“That’s the nice thing about living in America,” he said. “There’s an election every year.”
District 62A – West Bank
Jim Davnie defeated his two opponents, Republican Robert Garrison and the Independent candidate Carol Grishen.
Davnie handily won his bid for re-election, garnering 76 percent of the vote. Garrison collected 16 percent and Grishen collected 7 percent, with all precincts reporting.
Davnie said he knew he was going to win.
“Frankly, I won with 73 percent of the vote two years ago. I expect to do something like that this year,” he said.
He said he will continue to focus on education and find ways to fix the state’s budget.
Garrison said it was hard running as a Republican in District 62A.
“I wish people would have listened to what I had to say instead of just seeing the ‘R’ at the end of my name,” he said.
He will run again in two years if he gets the endorsement, he said.
District 66B – St. Paul
Democrat Alice Hausman won re-election against her only challenger on the ballot, Republican Warren Anderson.
Hausman won the race with 75 percent of the vote to Anderson’s 25 percent, with all precincts reporting.
Hausman said she was relieved to have claimed her seat again.
“It suggests that I’m in touch with my district,” she said.
Anderson said he wasn’t expecting to win because Hausman usually gets 70 percent of the vote.
“I believe in democracy, and no one should run unopposed,” he said.
Traditionally, he said, the Republicans just had a figurehead running in the district.
“All things considered, I think I did a really good job,” he said.
Anderson said he is considering running again in two years.
A group of students watching the election coverage in a Bailey Hall lounge said the Hausman-Anderson race was virtually invisible on campus.