Attorney general and secretary of state results in

Elizabeth Cook

After weeks of being swamped with political campaigns, the results for attorney general and secretary of state are in.

As of 11:30 Tuesday night, DFL candidate for attorney general Lori Swanson was ahead of Republican candidate Jeff Johnson, 52.98 percent to 40.9 percent.

Mike Hatch gave up the attorney general position he’s held for eight years to run for governor, and the results of that race were undetermined as of Daily press time.

As the chief legal officer for the state of Minnesota, the attorney general’s job is to represent and provide legal advice to more than 100 agencies in the state.

The office won’t be new to Swanson, since she’s worked in the attorney general’s office for the past 7 1/2 years as the solicitor general and the deputy attorney general.

Swanson’s main concerns include health care reform, corporate accountability and public safety.

Her focus is on making sure the powerless don’t get taken advantage of, and she plans to stand up for their rights, she said.

Swanson’s track record includes auditing the health care industry and exposing wasteful spending, making health care providers responsible for patients not receiving care.

Secretary of State

As of 11:30 Tuesday night, DFL secretary of state candidate Mark Ritchie led incumbent Republican Mary Kiffmeyer 49.24 percent to 44.01 percent.

The secretary of state is responsible for the administration of elections, business services and record keeping for the state of Minnesota.

Ritchie brings experience to the elections from leading National Voice, a nonprofit organization promoting voting and civic participation.

Ritchie wants to change the election division of the state by having nonpartisan staff election experts.

By getting politicians to talk about the issues young people care about, he plans on increasing young voter turnout rates.

He plans on bringing voting machines to high school events, like homecoming elections, to get younger people used to the idea of voting and how it’s done.

He said he wants pre-voter registration for high school students so they will be set to vote as soon as they turn 18.

To make voting easier for those in military service, or students with busy days, Ritchie would like to have early voting, mail votes and no-excuse absentee voting.

Candidates were not immediately available for comment.