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James J. Berreth
Politics and Government Reporter
It has been a little over three weeks since voters cast their ballots for the 2022 midterms and control of both the House and Senate have been confirmed, with Republicans winning a small majority in the House, and the Democrats gaining a seat in the Senate and thus taking control. One Senate race yet to be decided is that of Georgia, and it is a high stakes battle between incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. Georgia State Law requires a candidate to receive at least 50% of the vote to win an election, and as neither candidate received enough votes to claim this victory, a runoff election will be held in less than a week on December 6th. Complicating matters are voting laws passed by Republicans that aim to limit access to mail-in voting. According to the N.Y. Times, these new laws reduced the number of ballot dropboxes, cut the runoff election calendar in half, required stricter voter I.D. requirements, and gave voters less time to request an absentee ballot.
Here in Minnesota, election results for the U.S. House remained unchanged from the 2020 elections, with Republicans holding on to their seats in the 1st, 6th, 7th, and 8th Congressional Districts and Democrats holding on in Congressional Districts 2, 3, 4, and 5. The race for state governor saw Republican challenger Scott Jensen lose to incumbent Governor Tim Walz, who won in a convincing manner, garnering 52.27% of the vote to Jensen’s 44.61%. The State Auditor race was much closer, with Democrat Julie Blaha winning with 47.47% of the votes over her challenger Ryan Wilson, who came in at 47.13% of the votes. Similarly, the race for MN Attorney General featured a tight race, with incumbent Democrat Keith Ellison winning reelection with 50.37% of the votes over his challenger Jim Schultz, who received 49.53%. Minnesota’s 2022 midterm elections resulted in a trifecta: Democrats now control the House, Senate, and the state’s executive branch.
One race that was particularly noteworthy was that of secretary of state, both here in Minnesota and across the country. For those who may be unaware, the office of the secretary of state oversees elections and their results. Recent events have shed a new light on the powers of this office, as some political factions believe our elections are not secure. Motivated by this view and the conspiracy theories espoused by President Trump, election deniers ran for this office in many different states. The results here at home are a microcosm of the results nationwide. Steve Simon, the incumbent Democrat who has held this office since 2014, again won reelection over Republican Kim Crockett, herself an advocate of the “Stop the Steal” conspiracy.
In Part 2 of this article, I will have some thoughts from Secretary of State Steve Simon on what will be the final word on the 2022 midterm elections.