Update 1/4 12:50 PM:
Since the article was published Republican Justin Kyrch has announced his candidacy for the State Senate
As Governor Tim Walz continues to fill his administration, his latest announcement will result in a special election to be held on Tuesday, February 5th, 2019.
Democrat State Senator Tony Lourey was chosen to be the next Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Department of Human Services (DHS) sets policies and directs payments of many government services ranging from child support to food assistance. Over a million Minnesota residents are directly affected by the decisions of this department. “Walz has chosen State Senator Tony Lourey (Democrat) to be the next Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). This Department sets policies for and directs the payment of a wide range of government services, including child support and food assistance. Over one million Minnesota residents are directly affected by the decisions of this Department.”
Tony Lourey might be best known for his role as the chief author and architect of MNSure during his time as chair of the Minnesota Health and Human Finance Committee. Lourey helped push Minnesota to be one of the first states to embrace Obamacare.
The presumptive Democrat will be Stu Lourey, who is the son of Tony Lourey. Stu Lourey will have to move back to the district since he currently works as a legislative aide for Democrats in the US Senate.
The presumptive Republican will be Representative from 11B Jason Rarick. Rep. Rarick was first elected to House District 11B in 2014 defeating an incumbent legislator and was reelected in 2016 and 2018 with 60% of the vote in each election. Rarick serves on the Labor(Lead), Energy and Climate Finance & Policy, Environment, and Natural Resources Finance and Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committees in the Minnesota House. “There’s a lot at stake at the Capitol right now so it’s important our Senate district has a strong voice in St. Paul,” said Rep. Rarick. “I am excited to take the experience I’ve gained over four years in the House of Representatives and put it to work for the people of Pine, Kanabec, Carlton, and St. Louis Counties.”
The election will be held in Senate District 11 which is a large district that ranges from Pine City and Mora all the way north to Cloquet. One part of the district is considered safe Republican and is represented by Jason Rarick. The second side is considered slightly favorable to Democrats and is represented by Democrat Mike Sundin.
In 2016 President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by over 5,000 votes and Republican Pete Stauber won by 1,500 votes. Minnesota Republicans will have a chance to expand their Senate majority which they currently hold by the only seat.
Minnesota Republicans currently hold a one-seat Senate majority and will be looking to expand that majority in this special election.
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