State Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, defeated Republican challenger Jon Heyer on Tuesday in the race to represent Minnesota House District 66A.
Hausman won by a wide margin and captured more than 67 percent of votes, sending her to the Legislature for a 14th term to represent the district that encompasses the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus.
Hausman celebrated the victory from her home Tuesday night.
“It is always something unknown, and you never take anything for granted,” she said.
She spent the evening watching results on TV, as elections statewide affect her post as the chair of the House’s Capital Investment Committee, which determines funds for the maintenance and construction of new buildings on state-owned properties.
Heyer expressed his disappointment in the loss and said union support contributed to the results.
“They just see the ‘D’ on the line and vote for the Democrat,” he said, adding that he’ll “absolutely” run for the House seat again in two years.
Heyer, a College of Liberal Arts alumnus, campaigned on policy changes like lowering corporate and property taxes, supporting charter schools and reforming recent health care mandates.
Hausman said she supported the University’s in-state, undergraduate tuition freeze, which has been in place since last academic year.
“That’s how we build the economic health and development of the state,” Hausman said.
Biochemistry freshman Manu Tunstall said he voted for Hausman partly because she values higher education funding, an important issue for him.
Volunteers working with the University’s College Democrats helped drive students on Tuesday from the St. Paul campus’s Bailey Hall to the Falcon Heights City Hall, where students living in the area could vote.
About seven students arrived at the polling station between 3 and 4 p.m., and election judge Steve Graham said about one-third of eligible precinct voters had cast their ballots by about 3 p.m.
The redrawing of the district’s lines in 2012 added suburban voters this election season, a change that Heyer previously said could shift final results in his favor because of his ties with the new areas.
District 66A includes Falcon Heights and parts of Roseville and St. Paul. The district has remained stable in its voting patterns since Hausman was elected in 1989.
Hausman’s district is a “safe DFL seat,” said Larry Jacobs, director of the University’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.
“Hausman has been blessed with location in one of the most safe Democratic strongholds in the state,” Jacobs said, adding that location often plays a pivotal role in determining election results.
Although Republican candidates have historically had a tough time unseating Hausman, Jacobs said she shouldn’t be too confident.
“It’s never a guarantee that the incumbent will win,” Jacobs said.