GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Gov. Mark Dayton will square off against Republican Jeff Johnson in November.
Johnson, a Hennepin County Commissioner and former state legislator, addressed supporters on Tuesday night, thanking them for helping him claim the primary victory.
With about 98 percent of the polls reporting, Jeff Johnson was leading with 30.2 percent of the vote. Kurt Zellers was in second with 23.9 percent. Marty Seifert was running third with 21.1 percent. And the Scott Honour was slightly behind, running fourth at 20.8 percent. Merrill Anderson was at 4 percent.
Johnson thanked supporters and his GOP rivals.
"They ran great campaigns. They ran substantive campaigns. They are all friends of ours and will remain friends of ours, and hopefully will be walking side by side with us across this state," Johnson told a crowd of well wishers who joined him at a Plymouth restaurant for his election watch party.
"I have a vision of a state where politicians understand that taxpayers work really, really hard for our money, and we treat it just as carefully as if it's coming out of our own pockets, which ain't happening in St. Paul right now."
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin released a statement Tuesday night reminding voters that Johnson once said he'd like to emulate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Republican Mike McFadden had a commanding lead with 75 percent of polls reporting. He would face Sen. Al Franken in November. He was at 72 percent. His closest competitor was at 15 percent.
Republicans Scott Newman and Sharon Anderson are facing off in the primary for Attorney General. With more than 57 percent of the polls reporting, Newman leads Anderson 63-37 percent. The winner will face incumbent Democrat Lori Swanson.
On the Democratic side, the key race was for State Auditor between incumbent Rebecca Otto and Matt Entenza. Otto held a strong lead over Entenza as results came in. Entenza released released a statement Tuesday evening, saying he was conceding and fully endorsing Otto.
"We had obviously hoped for a better result, but a dramatically low turnout made it difficult to overcome the advantages of an incumbent candidate. Auditor Otto will face Randy Gilbert in November and will do a good job of representing the DFL ticket. I wholeheartedly endorse her reelection."
Democratic Rep. Phyllis Kahn kept the inside track for retaining her seat by defeating Minneapolis School Board Member Mohamud Noor, who was vying to become the first Somali-American elected to the House.
For complete election results, go to electionresults.sos.state.mn.us.