Voters in Minnesota rewarded most of the party-endorsed candidates and incumbents in Tuesday's primary election, giving them the victories that will send them to the general election in November.
Winners include GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden, DFL incumbent State Auditor Rebecca Otto, and two state legislators facing stiff primary challenges.
Governor: Republican primary
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson is the winner of the four-way Republican primary for governor.
With nearly all of the precincts reporting, Johnson received 30 percent of the vote; former House Speaker Kurt Zellers was next with 24 percent. Businessman Scott Honour and former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert each had about 21 percent.
Johnson released a statement that laid out his vision for "a Minnesota where everybody has the opportunity to succeed. ... we are preaching a sincerely held belief that the poor can become the middle class and the middle class can become rich and anyone who starts with nothing can still accomplish anything in this great state."
Johnson will face off against DFL Gov. Mark Dayton in November.
U.S. Senate: Republican primary
Business executive and political newcomer Mike McFadden was the winner in the Senate contest, defeating state Rep. Jim Abeler by a huge 72 - 15 percent margin. He will challenge Democratic Sen. Al Franken in November.
Here's McFadden's victory speech:
State Auditor: DFL primary
On the DFL side, State Auditor Rebecca Otto is the winner in her primary contest against former legislator Matt Entenza. With about half the precincts reporting, Otto had nearly 80 percent of the vote, according to MPR News. Otto will face Republican Randy Gilbert in November.
Otto was endorsed by the state DFL Party in the spring, but Entenza unexpectedly jumped into the race shortly afterward and stirred up controversy by spending more than $600,000 of his own money and accusing Otto of not being aggressive enough in her official duties.
Legislature: Key races
Two state lawmakers who faced strong primary opposition both won their races. State Rep. Phyllis Kahn, a 42-year veteran of the Minnesota House, defeated her challenger, Minneapolis School Board member Mohamud Noor, who was hoping to become the first Somali-American elected to the Legislature.
In Eden Prairie, Republican State Rep. Jenifer Loon survived a stiff challenge from Sheila Kihne. Loon, who was targeted in part because of her vote last year in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, won the primary with 54 percent of the vote.
The Republican Party-endorsed candidate, Aaron Miller, lost the primary election to Blue Earth businessman Jim Hagedorn. Miller was better-financed, but Hagedorn criticized him for not being aggressive enough on the campaign trail, according to MPR News. Hagedorn will face Democratic incumbent Rep. Tim Walz, who is running for a fifth term.
DFLer Mike Obermueller will get a rematch against Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline, after defeating his primary opponent, Michael Roberts, by a margin of 82 - 18 percent. Obermueller, a former state legislator, challenged but lost to Kline in 2012. Kline is running for a seventh term.
Republican Tom Emmer has won his party's primary in his bid to succeed U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Congress. Emmer defeated Anoka County Supervisor Rhonda Sivarajah. With just over half the precincts reporting, Emmer was leading 69 - 31 percent. He will face Democrat Joe Perske in the November election.