MINNEAPOLIS -- Analysts say the biggest election surprise was how close incumbent U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar came to losing her 5th District seat in Congress.
Former Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels came within 2 percentage points of beating Omar.
Other results broke down on more predictable lines, including big wins for the establishment wing of the Minnesota Republican Party.
Omar and Samuels had sharp differences on public safety, with Omar supporting a referendum to dismantle and replace the Minneapolis Police Department. Samuels helped lead the successful fight against that referendum
In Minnesota 1st Congressional District, which stretches across southern Minnesota, voters have chosen Republican Brad Finstad to fill the remaining five months of the late Rep. Jim Hagedorn's term.
Finstad, a New Ulm farmer and former Trump appointee, beat Democrat Jeffrey Ettinger by 4 percentage points. It was a better-than-expected showing for Ettinger, which he credits to his support for abortion rights.
"I think it's really aggravating, particularly a lot of women to feel that the government is going to insert themselves in that decision and potentially make criminals out of them and their doctors," Ettinger said.
Finstad, the GOP Party nominee, also won the primary over the far-right candidacy of Rep. Jeremy Munson. It was a victory for the Republican establishment that is also celebrating the win by party nominee Jim Schultz in the attorney general's race. Schultz convincingly defeated Doug Wardlow, a more-conservative candidate. Schulz now takes on Keith Ellison in the November election.
The primary brought clarity to a number of local elections. The crowded seven-candidate field in the Hennepin County Attorney race is now down to two. Former Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty got the most votes.
"I think that margin of victory reflects that there are a lot of shared values throughout Hennepin County. We need public safety, and we're not going to get public safety unless we have reform."
Moriarty will face what is expected to be a stiff challenge in November from retired Judge Martha Holton Dimick. She would like to see an expansion in detention centers for young people.
"People don't want to hear that these kids need to be in custody, but they do, at least for a period of time so we can address the trauma," Holton Dimick said.
Brad Finstad, the new Congressman-elect, said in a statement Wednesday, "Our country faces extraordinary challenges, but I am confident that we can come together to overcome them."
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