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2 seats remain in party hands in special legislative elections

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Both parties held their seats in the Minnesota Legislature in two special elections on Tuesday night.

Republican Tama Theis beat DFL candidate Joanne Dorsher and the Independence Party’s Todd McKee in a special Minnesota House District 14A race, the St. Cloud Times reports. The district includes much of St. Cloud, as well as Waite Park and St. Augusta.

Theis, a St. Cloud small-business owner who had not yet held an elected office, late Tuesday night said she was thrilled, the newspaper reported.

Theis will fill the seat of former Republican Rep. Steve Gottwalt, who stepped aside after the election when he took new job with a medical-imaging provider firm.

Democrat Clark Johnson of North Mankato won the state House 19A special election, defeating Republican Allen Quist and Independence Party candidate Tim Gieseke, the Mankato Free Press reported.

Johnson will fill the seat vacated by former state Rep. Terry Morrow, DFL-St. Peter, who stepped down to take a job as legislative director with the Uniform Law Commission, a non-partisan group that drafts legislation for states.

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