Hatch re-elected; Anderson Awada wins state auditor

The Minnesota Daily

In the race for statewide offices, the general elections were as suspenseful as the primaries.

After narrowly defeating Gregory Gray for the DFL ticket nomination in September, state auditor candidate Carol Johnson, the former state treasurer whose position was eliminated after this year, was defeated by Republican Patricia Anderson Awada as of press time early Wednesday morning.

Awada had 45 percent of the vote, while Johnson had 43 percent with 74 percent of precincts reporting.

“I will be a very active auditor. I’ve been an active mayor, and my role is to let people know where the money’s going,” said Awada, a former Eagan mayor.

Green Party candidate David Berger and Independence Party candidate Dave Hutcheson received 4 and 8 percent of the vote respectively.

Hutcheson’s percentage gained the Greens major party status because they garnered more than the necessary 5 percent.

Despite relentless campaigning by DFL challenger Hubert H. “Buck” Humphrey, Republican incumbent Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer was leading her challenger 48 percent to 44 percent as of press time Tuesday night.

Kiffmeyer was first sworn into office in 1999 and said early Wednesday morning that she wants to increase student participation in elections both as voters and election judges.

“I really think one of the keys that keeps young people from participating is a lack of knowledge about the mechanics of the process,” she said.

Although Humphrey lost the race, he said earlier Tuesday night that the secretary of state’s job was important in Minnesota because of high voter turnout.

“In this office you must have one goal, and that’s 100 percent voter turnout,” Humphrey said.

Green party candidate Andrew Koebrick received 3 percent of the vote and didn’t gain enough votes to bring the Greens major party status.

Independence Party candidate Dean Alger received 5 percent of the vote.

DFL incumbent Attorney General Mike Hatch was also re-elected to his second term in office with 54 percent of the vote as of press time.

Hatch has advocated rights for consumers, senior citizens and victims of crime.

Republican Party challenger Tom Kelly received 42 percent of the vote, and Independence party candidate Dale Nathan received 4 percent of votes.

Kelly congratulated Hatch on his victory and rallied Republican supporters at the party’s gathering.

“The good news is, is that this may be the only concession speech you hear tonight,” Kelly said.