Skip to main content

Voters take to polls in Minnesota to fill vacancies created by sex harassment resignations

Senate and House seats are both up for grabs.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

What's happening?

Two special elections are being held in Minnesota on Monday to fill two seats vacated when members of the state's House and Senate resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.

In mid-December, DFL Sen. Dan Schoen resigned in Senate District 54, which covers parts of Washington and Dakota counties in the southeast metro.

This was a few weeks after GOP Rep. Tony Cornish stepped own from District 23B, which covers areas of Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Waseca and Watonwan counties in southeast Minnesota.


– Both MN lawmakers accused of sexual harassment will resign.

Who's running? 

Senate District 54B will see DFLer Karla Bigham and Republican Denny McNamara fighting for the seat.

In the House 23B race, voters will have the choice between Republican Jeremy Munson and DFL candidate Melissa Wagner.

The Senate race in particular could have significant implications for the composition of the Minnesota Senate.

Currently Republicans hold it by a narrow margin, but if Bigham wins and then a judge rules that current GOP Sen. Michelle Fischbach cannot serve as both a senator and as the new Lieutenant Governor (after Tina Smith became as U.S. Senator), then the Senate would be tied 33-33.

There's a lot of interest in these elections

Seemingly every special election held since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency has been scrutinized as a gauge for how things will shake out in the November mid-terms.

Analysts are predicting a "blue wave" of Democrat votes that would make Bigham a favorite in the Senate race, given the previous incumbent Schoen was himself a Democrat.

Wagner will face a more difficult task winning the House race, given the more conservative district she's aiming to represent, but a win for her could portend bad things for Republicans come November.

The Star Tribune notes that money has been pouring in for both races. 

Celebrities meanwhile have even been taking an interest in the special elections, with TV host Chelsea Handler tweeting about the female candidates she wants to see replace two men who resigned over alleged sexual misconduct.

Republican U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis meanwhile has been doing his part to support McNamara in his district.

Next Up


Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.

argue-wertman booking photos

Charges: 2 teens responsible for violent carjacking spree across Twin Cities

They face a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings and related crimes.

rep nolan west mn house

MN rep. says he was 'assaulted' at activist group's public meeting

The Republican said a man grabbed his arms and yanked him from the room.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 12.56.52 PM

What were the 'bizarre things' seen in Minnesota's sky?

The mysterious streaks were not UFOs and they weren't pieces of an asteroid.

icicles, freezing weather, cold weather

Booming noises in the night could be frost quakes

The loud sounds are most likely to happen during the middle of the night.

coronavirus, coronavirus test, covid-19

Free COVID testing site to open in St. Paul for 3 weeks

The federal testing site comes as demand for testing remains high.

Reyel Simmons photo 1 - complaint - crop

MN TikToker accused of faking federal agent life pleads guilty

He told his 10,000 followers he was a Homeland Security agent — authorities say it was a lie.


Report: Vikings request second interview with 2 GM candidates

Ryan Poles of the Chiefs and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Browns.

Amaya Battle

Hopkins takes on No. 1 team in the country on ESPNU Friday

The game will feature a pair of top recruits in the Class of 2022.

st. paul federation of educators - teachers

Educators in Minneapolis, St. Paul could strike amid contract negotiations

Teachers and support staff are demanding smaller class sizes, mental health support and better pay.


Both MN lawmakers accused of sexual harassment will resign, reports say

Rep. Tony Cornish and Sen. Dan Schoen will both step down.

Rick Nolan faces calls to resign after sex harassment claims against ex-staffer

An activist group is calling on Nolan to step down from the gubernatorial race.

Tired of waiting, female lawmakers take action on sexual harassment culture at the Capitol

They have proposed a bill to create a task force on sexual harassment.

Al Franken announces his resignation as Minnesota senator

It follows allegations of inappropriate conduct from multiple women.

Jason Lewis' 2011 comments about sex harassment victims under scrutiny

The 2nd District congressman made light of harassment allegations.

State Sen. Dan Schoen pressured to resign amid reports of sexual harassment

Sen. Dan Schoen's colleagues are calling on him to resign following a MinnPost report.

Poll shows drop in Trump, Republican support in Minnesota

But the president's support is more resilient here than in Wisconsin or Michigan.

Sarah Silverman says Al Franken was 'bullied' into resigning

The comedian is a long-time friend of Minnesota's former senator.