Democrat incumbents clinch District 59/59B with ease

Andre Eggert

Minneapolis incumbents representing the University of Minnesota area in the state Legislature were safe from the pain others across the country faced Tuesday night.

Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller and Rep. Phyllis Kahn both sailed to smooth victories. Both are members of the DFL.

Senate District 59 encompasses the Northeast, Cedar-Riverside and parts of Southeast Minneapolis. House District 59B is half of Senate District 59 and includes the University and surrounding areas.

Pogemiller won his race with about 78 percent of the vote, beating Republican Barry Hickethier.

Hickethier said that regardless of the outcome, the experience of campaigning was great.

âÄúI have met so many wonderful people along the way âĦ made a lot of inroads with a lot different groups and communities and have a fantastic staff,âÄù he said.

Even with PogemillerâÄôs win, Hickethier said, âÄúThereâÄôs no losing here.âÄù

Pogemiller could not be reached for comment.

Kahn won with about 67 percent of the vote. Her closest competitor was Republican and University alumnus, Ole Hovde, who took about 19 percent.

Other challengers in District 59B include Independence Party candidate Ron Lischeid and Green Party candidate Dan Craigie.

Both Hovde and Lischeid have run again Kahn in the past.

Kahn said she spent the entire day door-knocking and working with students, where she got âÄúgood reception.âÄù

âÄúIâÄôm pleased to see the confidence in my constituents,âÄù Kahn said.

The residence halls that make up the superblock on campus were where Kahn said she ran into the most problems, noting that it seemed to have more conservatives than the rest of the district.

For Democrats, Minnesota is a bright spot in the country, Kahn said.

âÄú[Hopefully] with a Democratic governor and Democratic Legislature, weâÄôre going to be able to move seriously ahead to solve our problems without the extended rhetoric of âÄòno taxesâÄô getting in the way,âÄù she said.