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“The Watchers” is a film adaptation of the 2022 book of the same name by A.M. Shine.
Review: “The Watchers”
Published June 13, 2024

DFL retains all seats

With 100% of precincts reporting according to the Secretary of State website, Minnesota Democrats were able to retain their high-level state seats.
Tim+Walz+won+the+governors+race+after+originally+being+elected+in+2018.+
Image by Devlin Epding
Tim Walz won the governor’s race after originally being elected in 2018.

The election’s main issues were varied, with abortion being a focus after the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, public safety amid a 20.3% increase in violent crime in Hennepin County since 2021 and rising prices of household goods because of inflation.

Statewide offices

Governor

Incumbent Gov. Tim Walz (DFL) beat Scott Jensen with 52.27% of the vote and about 100% of precincts reporting. The race tightened after Jensen changed his public position on abortion following this year’s State Fair.

Walz ran his reelection campaign focused on building “One Minnesota,” as well as helping the economy, investing in the state and protecting abortion access. Jensen ran on curbing crime and enhancing public safety, stunting inflation’s impacts in Minnesota and the governor’s emergency powers.

“Well Minnesota, democracy is alive and well in this state,” Walz said. “Minnesotans made a conscious decision tonight to choose a positive future, to choose one where our better days lie ahead.”

Walz served in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected as governor in 2018 and was a teacher before entering politics. Jensen was a family medical doctor before he ran for Minnesota State Senate in 2016; he retired after four years in the legislature to run for governor.

Jensen conceded the governor’s race at the Minnesota GOP election party Tuesday night. (Alex Steil)

“Republicans, quite frankly, we didn’t have a red wave,” Jensen said during his concession speech early Wednesday morning. “We need to recalibrate. We need to ask ourselves, ‘okay, what can we learn from this? What can we do better? How do we go forward?”

Secretary of State

Incumbent Sec. of State Steven Simon (DFL) won against GOP challenger Kim Crockett with 54.53% percent of the vote. Crockett ran her campaign on false claims the 2020 election was fraudulent, though this has been debunked by numerous news outlets and investigations.

Simon was a lawyer-turned-legislator before running to be Minnesota’s election director in 2018. Crockett worked for a conservative Minnesota interest group before running for the position in 2022.

“If we’re going to bring election integrity, we need to calm down the divisiveness around elections in Minnesota and our nation,” Crockett said in her concession speech. “From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.”

Attorney General

Incumbent Attorney General Keith Ellison (DFL) defeated challenger Jim Schlutz (R) in one of the tightest statewide races of this year by less than 1 percentage point. Minnesota has not had a Republican attorney general since 1971.

“We have been counting these numbers all night and I want to tell you this: they’re almost all counted, and we’re going to win,” Ellison said at the Minnesota DFL election party.

Ellison was criticized throughout the campaign for comments that would have altered the construction of the Minneapolis Police Department, other comments about police during the riots following George Floyd’s murder as well as the Feeding Our Future fraud scandal. Schultz, in turn, was criticized by the Ellison campaign for his lack of courtroom enforcement experience.

Feeding Our Future was also used as political fodder. The scandal arose in September after the Department of Justice brought charges against the organization, saying it accepted nearly $250 million in fraudulent funds. A judge in Ramsey County published a press release stating, even after the Department of Education stopped payments and had internally flagged the organization, the administration continued to make payments to the group.

Ellison was a lawyer before he was elected to both the Minnesota and U.S. House of Representatives. Schultz, in contrast, had a more varied background working on a farm and in the Department of Defense before settling in Minnesota as an attorney.

State Auditor

The last state executive office is the State Auditor; they are the financial watchdog for the state.

Incumbent Auditor Julie Blaha (DFL) beat Ryan Wilson (R) by less than one percentage point in the closest state race this year. Blaha was criticized by Wilson for not catching the Feeding our Future fraud scheme earlier, although she has responded that was beyond the scope of her office.

Before being elected in 2018 as the state auditor, Blaha was a teacher and secretary-treasurer at the AFL-CIO labor union. Wilson, in turn, founded his own international auditing firm and was a manager at a medical devices company; this is his first endeavor into politics.

State Legislature

State Rep. Mohamud Noor (DFL) ran unopposed and will serve his third term in the Minnesota House of Representatives for District 60B. Before serving in the House, Noor ran for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 6 in 2017, but was defeated by former Council Member Abdi Warsame.

State Sen. Kari Dziedzic was reelected to serve a fifth term in the Minnesota State Senate after running unopposed. Dziedzic was first elected during a special election in 2012.

County Elections

Mary Moriarty was announced the winner of the race for Hennepin County Attorney with 57.59% of the vote, while Martha Holton Dimick is polling behind with 41.82%. One hundred percent of precincts in Hennepin County are reporting.

Dawanna Witt won the country sheriff’s race with 63.99% of the vote. Joseph Banks held 35.37% with 100% of precincts reporting.

Federal Offices

House of Representatives

Incumbent Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL) defeated Cicely Davis (R) with about 74% of the vote and 100% of precincts reporting. She will continue to represent District 5 for the next two years, which has not elected a Republican to the House since 1963.

Ilhan Omar declared victory Tuesday night. This will be her third term as the 5th District representative. (Maya Marchel Hoff)

Omar spoke in both English and Somali at her election party Tuesday evening, where there was a crowd of about 60 people singing and dancing in celebration.

“I want to thank the incredible voters of Minnesota’s congressional district many years ago when I won with the highest number of votes a freshman has ever gotten. Tonight our numbers are better than 2020,” Omar said. “And that shows…that the people here know who their champion is and who they’re going to send back to Washington.”

At a Minnesota GOP party, Davis made a concession speech, emphasizing how many donations her campaign received. She said she received nearly 90,000 donations throughout the campaign.

“Should we leave the biggest American hating, socialist, squad member unopposed? Absolutely not. We fight in Minnesota,” Davis said. “This is a grassroots effort.”

Overall, Minnesota congressional districts stayed the same with a 4/4 split between Democrats and Republicans.

*These polling results are unofficial and were reported on the Secretary of State’s website. This story will be updated as election results come in*

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