Skip to main content

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.
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

Dean Evason

Tempers flare as Wild hammer Canadiens

Montreal was anything but polite after the Wild picked up an 8-2 victory.

Blaine VFW video screengrab crop N West Twitter

Authorities now looking into MN lawmaker's report of assault

Video shows Rep. Nolan West being grabbed and pushed out of a public event.

TajPharmaImages WIkimedia Commons ivermectin

COVID treatments: Essentia Health to help test 3 existing meds

The clinical trial includes the much-discussed drug ivermectin.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 3.48.57 PM

Suspect crashes into Minneapolis snow plow, fires shots at plow driver

The plow driver was pulled to the side of the road when the incident happened.

cold Minneapolis

Coldest day of the winter is possible this week in Minnesota

An air temp of -30F isn't out of the question too far from the metro.

polley freeborn county jail roster jan 2022 resize

District fires school counselor accused of sexually assaulting student

He's been charged with felony criminal sexual conduct.

Moorhead family

Authorities pinpoint source of CO that killed family of 7

The victims, all members of Hernandez-Pinto family, were found dead in a Moorhead home.

polymet mining

Court issues mixed ruling on PolyMet, orders more analysis on water permit

The court, however, overruled several challenges to the permit.

SPPD Kua person of interest 01-24-2022

Police release images of woman driving stolen Audi that had puppy inside

It's not clear whether she was involved in the vehicle theft.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Fatal hit-and-run driver can avoid prison time with plea deal

He was charged with striking and killing a 56-year-old who was walking her dog.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 11.21.49 AM

Alex Rodriguez: 'I'm not a Packers fan'

He was at Lambeau screaming "Cheese!" and "Let's go!" during the playoff game against the 49ers.


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.