Jeff Johnson shocks Pawlenty with GOP win, Tim Walz gets DFL nod

Johnson's victory was the biggest shock of the night.
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Jeff Johnson Tim Walz

In November, Minnesotans will go to the polls to choose between Jeff Johnson and Tim Walz.

Prior to the election, most of the focus was on who would win the DFL nomination between Walz, Erin Murphy and Lori Swanson.

But it was Johnson who pulled off the shock of the night, overcoming former governor Tim Pawlenty and his considerable financial war chest to get the GOP nomination.

He will run as the GOP nominee for the second election in a row, having lost to Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014.

Pawlenty conceded defeat just after 10 p.m., saying: "I do not regret trying to come back to this office and trying to lead ... it just wasn’t enough in these times."

Meanwhile, Walz and running mate Peggy Flanagan overcame a spirited effort from Erin Murphy and running mate Erin Maye Quade, with Minnesota's Attorney General Lori Swanson finishing a distant third.

This was somewhat of an upset too, given that an earlier poll had shown her to be leading.

Walz went out to an early 8-point lead over Murphy, and once the results from the 1st Congressional District of which he has been congressman stretched that lead out to 11 points, he was declared the winner.

Murphy meanwhile made a call for reconciliation among Democratic supporters, urging them to get behind Walz this November.

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