Gov. Tim Walz won a second term in office Tuesday night, beating back a challenge from Dr. Scott Jensen in what was a disappointing night for Republicans locally and nationally.
Soaring inflation and rising crime were expected to carry Republicans to victory, but the opposite happened as Walz cruised to a win and the DFL was on the verge of claiming both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature as of late Tuesday night.
“Tonight we’ve chosen democracy. We’ve chosen to trust women. We’ve chosen to invest in our children. We’ve chosen to address climate change,” Walz said during his victory speech. “Minnesotans made a conscious choice tonight to choose a positive future.”
A glimmer of hope for Republicans came in the attorney general and state auditor races, which were too close to call as of late Tuesday. If the GOP wins either, it would be their first statewide win since 2006.
“Tonight, I have called Gov. Tim Walz and conceded. From the beginning, we said we would trail-blaze the issues and give Minnesotans an alternative choice. We fell short of our goal, but I am immeasurably thankful for the relationships that formed and the passion of our supporters across the state,” Jensen said in a statement.
In the final statewide race, Republican Kim Crockett lost to Secretary of State Steve Simon.
Republicans under-performed in crucial races across the country, according to the Daily Caller, but are still expected to win a narrow majority in the U.S. House. One of those pivotal races was Minnesota’s Second Congressional District, where Rep. Angie Craig won a third term over Republican Tyler Kistner.
Many analysts viewed the results as a loosening of former President Donald Trump’s grip on the GOP as his preferred candidates were met with mixed results in close congressional and gubernatorial races. Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a likely 2024 presidential candidate, won in dominating fashion by flipping areas of the state that haven’t gone to the GOP in two decades.
Kendall Qualls, a former candidate for Minnesota governor, said Republicans should look to attorney general candidate Jim Schultz and state auditor candidate Ryan Wilson as an example going forward.
“Because their message works and those candidacies are still in play,” he said.