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United States House of Representatives elections in Minnesota, 2012

The 2012 United States House of Representatives elections in Minnesota were held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 to elect the eight U.S. Representatives from the state of Minnesota. The elections coincided with the elections of other federal and state offices, including a quadrennial presidential election and an election to the U.S. Senate. Primary elections were held on August 14, 2012.[1]


  • Overview 1
  • Redistricting 2
  • District 1 3
    • General Election Results 3.1
  • District 2 4
    • General Election Results 4.1
  • District 3 5
    • General Election Results 5.1
  • District 4 6
    • General Election Results 6.1
  • District 5 7
    • General Election Results 7.1
  • District 6 8
    • General Election Results 8.1
  • District 7 9
    • General Election Results 9.1
  • District 8 10
    • General Election Results 10.1
  • References 11
  • External links 12


United States House of Representatives elections in Minnesota, 2012[2]
Party Votes Percentage Seats Before Seats After +/–
Democratic Farmer-Labor 1,560,984 55.48% 4 5 +1
Republican 1,210,409 43.02% 4 3 -1
Independence 36,433 1.29% 0 0 0
Others 5,557 0.20% 0 0 0
Totals 2,813,383 100.00% 8 8


A redistricting plan was proposed by Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature on May 9, 2011.[3] The plan was passed by the Minnesota House of Representatives on May 13[4] and the Minnesota Senate on May 18,[5] but was vetoed by Democratic Governor Mark Dayton on May 19.[6]

In February 2012, a state court panel redrew Minnesota's congressional boundaries with the effect of enacting a "least-change" map.[7]

District 1

Democrat Tim Walz, who has represented Minnesota's 1st congressional district since 2007, sought re-election. In redistricting, Murray County, Pipestone County and half of Cottonwood County were moved from the 1st district to the 7th and Wabasha County was moved from the 1st district to the 2nd; while Le Sueur County and most of Rice County were moved from the 2nd district to the 1st. The 1st district was expected to continue to slightly favor Republicans.[7]

State senator Mike Parry[8] lost the GOP nomination to state representative Allen Quist.[9] State senator Julie Rosen did not seek the Republican nomination.[10] Former state representative Randy Demmer, who unsuccessfully challenged Walz as the Republican nominee in 2010,[11] and state representative Steve Drazkowski[12] did not run.

Walz handily dispatched Quist in the election, garnering 58% of the vote.[13]

General Election Results

Minnesota 1st Congressional District 2012 [14]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Tim Walz (Incumbent) 193,211 57.52%
Republican Allen Quist 142,164 42.33%
Write-In Others 505 0.01%
Totals 335,880 100.0%
External links
  • Mike Parry campaign website
  • Allen Quist campaign website
  • Tim Walz campaign website

District 2

Republican John Kline, who has represented Minnesota's 2nd congressional district since 2003, sought re-election.

Patrick Ganey, a member of the Northfield City Council;[15] Kathleen Gaylord, a member of the Dakota County Commission;[16] former state Representative Mike Obermueller;[17] and Dan Powers, a former small business owner who unsuccessfully sought the DFL nomination in the 2nd district in 2010,[18] sought the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nomination to challenge Kline. At the congressional district convention, the party endorsed Mike Obermueller.

In redistricting, Le Sueur County and Rice County were moved from the 2nd district to the 1st and Carver County was moved from the 2nd district to the 3rd and 6th; while West St. Paul and parts of South St. Paul were moved from the 4th district to the 2nd. The 2nd district was made slightly more favorable to Democrats, but continues to favor Republicans.[7] Despite a strong challenge from Obermueller, Kline prevailed.[19]

General Election Results

Minnesota 2nd Congressional District 2012 [14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Kline (Incumbent) 193,587 54.01%
DFL Mike Obermueller 164,338 45.85%
Write-In Others 521 0.01%
Totals 358,446 100.0%
External links
  • John Kline campaign website
  • Mike Obermueller campaign website

District 3

Republican Erik Paulsen, who has represented Minnesota's 3rd congressional district since 2009 sought re-election.

Brian Barnes, an Edina businessman and former Navy Reserve officer[20] and Sharon Sund, a Plymouth scientist and small-business owner[21] sought the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nomination to challenge Paulsen. In the third district Democratic convention, Barnes won the party endorsement and Sund backed his candidacy.[22] Sund was subsequently elected Chair of the Hennepin County Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.[23]

In redistricting, the 3rd district was expanded to include eastern Carver County, while part of the northeastern Minneapolis–Saint Paul metro area was moved to the 5th. The district was made more favorable to Republicans.

Paulsen received 58% of the vote, defeating Barnes who received 42%.[24][25]

General Election Results

Minnesota 3rd Congressional District 2012 [14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Erik Paulsen (Incumbent) 222,335 58.10%
DFL Brian Barnes 159,937 41.79%
Write-In Others 433 0.11%
Totals 382,705 100.0%
External links
  • Brian Barnes campaign website
  • Erik Paulsen campaign website
  • Sharon Sund campaign website

District 4

Democrat Betty McCollum, who has represented Minnesota's 4th congressional district since 2001, sought re-election. In redistricting, the 4th district was made slightly more favorable to Republicans, but continues to strongly favor Democrats.[7]

Dan Flood, a retired Navy officer, and Tony Hernandez, a businessman who had been running for the U.S. Senate, sought the Republican nomination to challenge McCollum.[26] Hernandez won the Republican primary[27] and will face McCollum on the November ballot. The home of Republican U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann, who has represented Minnesota's 6th congressional district since 2007, was drawn into the 4th district in redistricting; however Bachmann sought re-election in the 6th district.[7]

McCollum retained her seat, defeating Hernandez.[24]

External links

General Election Results

Minnesota 4th Congressional District 2012 [14]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Betty McCollum (Incumbent) 216,685 62.27%
Republican Tony Hernandez 109,659 31.51%
Independence Steve Carlson 21,135 6.07%
Write-In Others 512 0.15%
Totals 347,991 100.0%
  • Dan Flood campaign website
  • Tony Hernandez campaign website
  • Betty McCollum campaign website

District 5

Minnesota's 5th congressional district has been represented by Democrat Keith Ellison since 2007. Gary Boisclair, an anti-abortion activist, and Gregg Iverson unsuccessfully challenged Ellison in the Democratic primary.[28] In redistricting, the 5th district was expanded to include parts of Brooklyn Center, Edina and Minnetonka, and continues to strongly favor Democrats.[7]

Chris Fields, a retired U.S. Marine,[29] ran unopposed in the district's Republican primary and will face Ellison on the ballot in November.[30]

Ellison easily defeated Fields, carrying about 75% of the vote.[31]

External links

General Election Results

Minnesota 5th Congressional District 2012 [14]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Keith Ellison (Incumbent) 262,102 74.47%
Republican Chris Fields 88,753 25.22%
Write-In Others 1,114 0.32%
Totals 351,969 100.0%
  • Gary Boisclair campaign website
  • Keith Ellison campaign website
  • Chris Fields campaign website

District 6

Michele Bachmann, who has represented Minnesota's 6th congressional district since 2007 and unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2012,[32] sought re-election.[33] Ron Seiford, an adjunct business instructor at Woodbury's Globe College, and Aubrey Immelman unsuccessfully challenged her in the Republican nomination, though Bachmann won by the lowest margin of any incumbent Republican congressional candidate in 50 years.[27][34][35]

Jim Graves, a hotel executive,[36] won the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nomination at the party's convention in April 2012.[22] He defeated Brian McGoldrick, a businessman;[37] Anne Nolan, an attorney and business consultant,[38] and Mike Starr, a substitute schoolteacher.[39]

In redistricting, the 6th district was expanded to include Carver County and was made more favorable to Republicans.[7] Despite this, Bachmann narrowly retained the seat, receiving only 4298 more votes than Graves.[40]

General Election Results

Minnesota 6th Congressional District 2012 [14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Michele Bachmann (Incumbent) 179,240 50.47%
DFL Jim Graves 174,944 49.26%
Write-In Others 969 0.27%
Totals 355,153 100.0%
External links
  • Michele Bachmann campaign website
  • Jim Graves campaign website
  • Brian McGoldrick campaign website
  • Anne Nolan campaign website
  • Complete video of first debate, The Uptake, October 30, 2012
  • Complete audio of second debate, Minnesota Public Radio, November 1, 2012
  • Complete video of third debate, C-SPAN, November 4, 2012
  • Collected news and commentary at Minnesota Public Radio

District 7

Democrat Collin Peterson, who has represented Minnesota's 7th congressional district since 1991, sought re-election.[41] In redistricting, the 7th district was expanded to include rural counties in southern Minnesota, while cities were moved from the 6th and 8th districts into the 7th.[7]

Lee Byberg, a business executive who unsuccessfully challenged Peterson as the Republican nominee in 2010;[42] and state senator Gretchen Hoffman,[43] sought the Republican nomination to challenge Peterson.

Byberg again received his party's nomination and was defeated by Peterson.[24]

General Election Results

Minnesota 7th Congressional District 2012 [14]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Collin C. Peterson (Incumbent) 197,791 60.38%
Republican Lee Byberg 114,151 34.85%
Independence Adam Steele 15,298 4.67%
Write-In Others 336 0.10%
Totals 327,576 100.0%
External links
  • Lee Byberg campaign website
  • Collin Peterson campaign website

District 8

Republican Chip Cravaack, who was first elected to represent Minnesota's 8th congressional district in 2010, sought re-election.

Former U.S. Representative Rick Nolan,[44] won the DFL primary on August 14,[27] defeating Jeff Anderson, a member of the Duluth City Council,[45] and Tarryl Clark, a member of the Minnesota Senate who unsuccessfully ran against Bachmann in the 6th district in 2010.[46] Daniel Fanning, the former deputy state director for Senator Al Franken, had decided to run,[47] but ended his campaign in January 2012.[48] State senate minority leader Tom Bakk,[49][50] Duluth mayor Don Ness,[49] state senator Roger Reinert,[49] state representative Tom Rukavina,[49] former state house majority leader Tony Sertich,[49] and lieutenant governor Yvonne Prettner Solon,[51] all of whom are Democrats, did not run. State representative Carly Melin had said she was "keeping an open mind" regarding the possibility of seeking the Democratic nomination;[52] however, she later endorsed Anderson's campaign.[53]

Nolan was earlier victorious in a February 2012 caucus, receiving 1,537 votes to Anderson's 1,008 and Clark's 408. 269 uncommitted votes were cast. Delegates to a convention held in May 2012 could endorse one candidate, but candidates who did not receive the party's endorsement were nonetheless able to run in the August 2012 primary.[54] Nolan won the DFL primary in August, with 38.3% of the vote, against Clark's 32.3% and Anderson's 29.5%[27]

In redistricting, the 8th district was not significantly changed and remained competitive.[7] Nolan triumphed over Cravaack, receiving about 55% of the vote.[55]

General Election Results

Minnesota 8th Congressional District 2012 [14]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Richard Nolan 191,976 54.28%
Republican Chip Cravaack (Incumbent) 160,520 45.39%
Write-In Others 1,167 0.33%
Totals 353,663 100.0%
External links
  • Jeff Anderson campaign website
  • Tarryl Clark campaign website
  • Chip Cravaack campaign website
  • Daniel Fanning campaign website
  • Rick Nolan campaign website
  • Complete video of debate, C-SPAN, October 12, 2012


  1. ^ "Important Election Dates". Office of the  
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Turck, Mary (May 9, 2011). "Congressional redistricting plan introduced by MN Republicans".  
  4. ^ Pugmire, Tim (May 13, 2011). "House OKs redesign for Minn. congressional lines".  
  5. ^ "Minnesota Senate Sends Redistricting Bills To Dayton".  
  6. ^ "Dayton vetoes GOP's redistricting plan". Crookston Daily Times. May 20, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Henry, Devin (February 22, 2012). "District-by-district look at Minnesota's new congressional map".  
  8. ^ Fischenich, Mark (October 8, 2011). "Parry to challenge Walz for Congress".  
  9. ^ Juhl, Mary (December 2, 2011). "Republican Quist to challenge Rep. Tim Walz for 1st District seat".  
  10. ^ Juhl, Mary (September 20, 2011). "Drazkowski hasn't ruled out run for Congress".  
  11. ^ Juhl, Mary (October 15, 2011). "Demmer won't run against Walz".  
  12. ^ "Drazkowski won't run for Congress".  
  13. ^ Fischenich, Mark (November 7, 2012). "Walz defeats Quist: West teacher returns to Congress". Mankato Free Press. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "MN Election Results". Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ Salisbury, Bill (March 24, 2012). "Northfield council member hopes to take on John Kline in 2nd District".  
  16. ^ Williams, Derrick; Butler, Jr., Corey (April 5, 2012). "Dakota County Commissioner Kathleen Gaylord to Run for Second Congressional District".  
  17. ^ Stassen-Berger, Rachel E. (April 3, 2012). "DFL has set its sights on Rep. John Kline's seat".  
  18. ^ Birkey, Andy (May 31, 2011). "Dan Powers to challenge Kline in 2012".  
  19. ^ Diaz, Kevin (November 7, 2012). "Obermueller a surprising challenge to Kline in Second District". Star Tribune. 
  20. ^ Scheck, Tom (October 10, 2011). "Barnes to challenge Paulsen".  
  21. ^ Birkey, Andy (August 4, 2011). "Sharon Sund to challenge Erik Paulsen".  
  22. ^ a b Shaw, Charley (2012-04-15). "Barnes, Graves win DFL endorsements for Congress". Politics in Minnesota. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  23. ^ Kimball, Joe. "DFLers host Jill Biden at Minneapolis fundraising event". MinnPost. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  24. ^ a b c Mitchell, Corey (November 7, 2012). "6 of state's U.S. House incumbents sure to keep seats". Star Tribune. 
  25. ^ Erik Paulsen wins re-election in 3rd Congressional District (2012-11-06). "Erik Paulsen wins re-election in 3rd Congressional District". ABC Newspapers. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  26. ^ "2 Klobuchar Challengers Leave GOP Contest".  
  27. ^ a b c d [2]
  28. ^ Birkey, Andy (October 24, 2011). "Anti-abortion activist campaigns against Ellison to exploit legal loophole".  
  29. ^ Nelson, Tim (September 7, 2011). "GOP challenger ready for Ellison".  
  30. ^ [3]
  31. ^ Lee, Jessica (November 7, 2012). "Ellison grabs 4th term". Minnesota Daily. 
  32. ^ "Michele Bachmann, U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 6th Congressional District". 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  33. ^ Diaz, Kevin (January 25, 2012). "Bachmann to defend her seat in Congress".  
  34. ^ {author} (2012-08-16). "Could Bachmann lose?". Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  35. ^ Longaecker, Mike (February 20, 2012). "St. Paul Park native wants to challenge Bachmann in GOP primary". South Washington County Bulletin. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
  36. ^ Wilson, Conrad (April 10, 2012). "Hotel owner Graves announces run for Congress".  
  37. ^ Brooks, Jennifer (March 22, 2012). "Second DFL candidate enters race against Bachmann".  
  38. ^ Rupar, Aaron (March 9, 2012). "Anne Nolan, attorney and MBA, first DFLer to announce run against Michele Bachmann".  
  39. ^ Sommerhauser, Mark (October 22, 2011). "6th District: Teacher considers run for Congress on DFL ticket". St. Cloud Times. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  40. ^ Diaz, Kevin (November 8, 2012). "Close call for Bachmann". Star Tribune. 
  41. ^ Wilson, Reid (November 16, 2011). "The Retirement Season".  
  42. ^ Sosa, Jorge (March 25, 2011). "Byberg throws hat in ring for 2012". Hutchinson Leader. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  43. ^ Scheck, Tom (February 24, 2012). "Hoffman announces run for Congress in 7th District".  
  44. ^ Collins, Jon (July 13, 2011). "Former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan enters 8th District race".  
  45. ^ Schneider, Zach (May 25, 2011). "City Councillor Jeff Anderson Announces Congressional Campaign".  
  46. ^ Wallbank, Derek (May 8, 2011). "Tarryl Clark says she'll run for Congress again, this time against Chip Cravaack".  
  47. ^ Passi, Peter (October 4, 2011). "Fanning running for 8th District seat".  
  48. ^ Kimball, Joe (January 5, 2012). "Fanning drops out of 8th District race, but many Cravaack challengers remain".  
  49. ^ a b c d e LaFave, Nick (February 24, 2011). "FOX 21 EXCLUSIVE: Reinert Not Running for Congress".  
  50. ^ Davis, Don (August 29, 2011). "Capitol Chatter: Bakk rejects requests for congressional run". Echo Press. Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  51. ^ Neely, Brett (April 5, 2011). "EMILY's List targets Cravaack".  
  52. ^ Stassen-Berger, Rachel E. (September 1, 2011). "Melin: "Open mind" on congressional run".  
  53. ^ Collins, Jon (September 21, 2011). "Melin and Reinert endorse Jeff Anderson to take on Cravaack in 8th Congressional District".  
  54. ^ Myers, John (February 8, 2012). "Congressional candidate Rick Nolan wins big in Minnesota caucus poll".  
  55. ^ "Nolan wins; Bachmann survives toughest race". The Journal. November 8, 2012. 

External links

  • Elections & Voting from the Minnesota Secretary of State
    • Official candidate list
    • 2012 elections results
    • 2012 Candidate filings
  • United States House of Representatives elections in Minnesota, 2012 at Ballotpedia
  • Minnesota U.S. House from
  • Campaign contributions for Minnesota congressional races from
  • Outside spending at the Sunlight Foundation
  • Campaign 2012 at Minnesota Public Radio News
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