AP: Tina Smith beats Jason Lewis in U.S. Senate race

Smith didn't get the same level of votes as Biden, but did enough to beat Lewis.
Publish date:
Jason Lewis and Tina Smith

Sen. Tina Smith has won re-election to the U.S. Senate, with the Associated Press projecting she defeated former Rep. Jason Lewis having built up a lead of almost 7% with 86% of precincts reporting.

Her victory means the Republican Party continues its run of failing to win a statewide vote in Minnesota since Tim Pawlenty was re-elected as governor in 2006.

After former Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Smith, then the lieutenant governor, to replace Al Franken in 2017, she was elected in 2018 to finish the rest of Franken's term. She will now serve a full 6-year term as a U.S. senator.

Smith also previously worked as chief of staff for Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. 

She has voted mostly along party lines, but has also collaborated across the aisle on bills involving drug prices. A member of the Senate Agricultural Committee, she won the endorsement of the Minnesota Farm Bureau. 

In one of Smith's more high-profile speeches to date, she defended abortion rights on the Senate floor, arguing that abortion restrictions are a sexist interference, preventing women from having full authority over their bodies. 

Lewis, who won the contested Minnesota 2nd Congressional district seat in 2016, lost his bid for election against Angie Craig in 2018. Prior to that, he gained name recognition through his career as a conservative talk show radio host. 

Throughout his campaign, Lewis presented himself as a staunch Trump supporter and ally.

He emphasized his support for strict immigration restrictions and import tariffs, and echoed Trump's criticism against stay-at-home orders and other restrictions on businesses regarding the coronavirus pandemic. 

He has called Minnesota’s Senate race “a choice between law and order and violence and anarchy," and emphasized his support for law enforcement following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.

Meanwhile, Smith, who didn't call for defunding the police, emphasized reforming law enforcement and condemned the looting and destruction that occurred during some protests against police brutality. 

Smith, who led in most polls throughout the race, raised more than twice as much money than Lewis: the Democrat collected $14.9 million while Lewis brought in about $5.4 million. 

While Biden had a lead of several thousand votes over Trump, Smith's lead over Lewis didn't carry over in the same way, but she still garnered more than 1.4 million votes with 14% of the state still to report.

Next Up

Willians Astudillo

Twins pitchers decimated: 16 runs, 18 hits, 8 walks ... 4 strikeouts

The White Sox hammered the Twins 16-4 but Astudillo took the mound in the ninth.


Girl shot in the head at birthday party 'fighting for her life'

Trinity Ottoson-Smith was struck by a bullet in the head last weekend.

Kelly Kleine

Broncos hire Vikings' Kelly Kleine as highest-ranking woman scout in NFL history

Kleine will reunite in Denver with former Vikings executive George Paton.

Joel Eriksson Ek

Wild looks to exorcise demons from haunted Game 2 history

The Wild have lost nine straight Game 2s entering Tuesday night's tilt with Vegas.


Woman who died in crash after car lost tire in Minneapolis is ID'd

The 35-year-old Minneapolis woman was originally from Mahnomen.

Flickr - fishing minnesota 2020 -Lorie Shaull

Curious conservation officer reports from the Minnesota DNR

Gravel thieves, raucous campers and some quick thinking that backfired.

St. Paul police squad

Police 'tactically disengage' from standoff in St. Paul

The incident lasted approximately 2 1/2 hours.


Another Raising Cane's set to open in the Twin Cities

This will be the 11th Raising Cane's restaurant in the metro area.

kimberly potter

Trial of former police officer Kimberly Potter starts Dec. 6

Potter is charged in the shooting death of Daunte Wright.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Health care workers ratify tentative agreement with Allina Health

The union was threatening a strike just two weeks ago.


Screen Shot 2020-10-05 at 3.13.09 PM

Lewis resumes campaigning after ending second COVID-19 quarantine

The U.S. Senate candidate has quarantined for around a week.

Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 10.35.20 AM

Jason Lewis announces run for Tina Smith's U.S. Senate seat

The former 2nd District congressman is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump.

Jason Lewis and Tina Smith

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's Senate race

Incumbent Tina Smith will take on former Congressman Jason Lewis.

Screen Shot 2020-10-05 at 3.13.09 PM

Jason Lewis quarantines again after exposure to COVID-positive person

The Senate candidate had already quarantined for four days after being near President Trump last week.

Tina Smith

Sen. Tina Smith tests negative after potential exposure to COVID-19

The senator says she didn't have close contact with the person who tested positive, but said she would quarantine and get tested anyway.

Karin Housley won't challenge Tina Smith for the Senate. Who might?

The state senator stated Tuesday she would instead seek re-election in her district.

Screen Shot 2020-10-05 at 3.13.09 PM

Jason Lewis undergoes emergency surgery for 'life-threatening' hernia

Lewis is challenging U.S. Sen. Tina Smith in this year's election.

Screen Shot 2020-10-05 at 3.13.09 PM

Jason Lewis to return to campaign trail after negative COVID test, 4 days of quarantine

The Senate candidate is one of the GOP politicians who greeted President Trump on his visit to Minnesota.