Tagminnesota

Stories about Minnesota

Republicans outraise Democrats by 9% in Minnesota Senate races

Editor’s Note: This article, as published March 11, 2022, did not include data on individual contributions less than $200. It will be updated to include those contributions once it is available.

Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political entities may contribute to campaigns.

While campaign finance is not the only factor in electoral outcomes, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages during a campaign. Fundraising can also indicate party momentum.

This article lists top fundraisers in the Minnesota State Senate, overall and by party. It is based on campaign finance reports that officeholders in and candidates for the State Senate submitted to the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. It includes activity between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021.

Top fundraisers in the Minnesota State Senate by party

The top fundraisers in Minnesota State Senate elections are shown below. Individuals are presented with the office that they are on the ballot for in 2022, if applicable.

In the Democratic Party, the top fundraisers were:

  • Foung Hawj – $36,650
  • Omar Fateh – $36,500
  • Dan Goodrich (District 33) – $32,250
  • Nick Frentz (District 19) – $30,850
  • Erin Murphy – $27,750

In the Republican Party, the top fundraisers were:

  • Karin Housley – $50,610
  • Paul Gazelka – $38,350
  • Jeremy Miller – $31,300
  • David Osmek – $28,300
  • Torrey Westrom – $25,900

Fundraising totals

Overall, Democratic officeholders and candidates raised $398,397 in this period. Republican officeholders and candidates raised $434,827. Combined, all State Senate fundraisers in the January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021, filing period raised $853,783.

The five largest Democratic fundraisers were responsible for 41 percent of all Democratic State Senate fundraising. The five largest Republican fundraisers were responsible for 40 percent of all Republican State Senate fundraising.

The table below provides additional data from the campaign finance reports from the top ten fundraisers during this period.

TOP TEN FUNDRAISERS – MINNESOTA STATE SENATE (January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021)

NameParty AffiliationRaisedSpent
Karin HousleyRepublican Party$50,610$22,756
Paul GazelkaRepublican Party$38,350$72,230
Foung HawjDemocratic Party$36,650$7,519
Omar FatehDemocratic Party$36,500$21,014
Dan GoodrichDemocratic Party$32,250$7,205
Jeremy MillerRepublican Party$31,300$6,620
Nick FrentzDemocratic Party$30,850$25,456
David OsmekRepublican Party$28,300$7,719
Erin MurphyDemocratic Party$27,750$22,797
Aleta BorrudDemocratic Party$25,900$19,669

Campaign finance reporting periods

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that candidate PACs submitted to the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. Candidate PACs represent individuals who have run for state or local office at any point, including past and present officeholders. This article does not include non-candidate PACs. In 2022, Transparency USA will publish campaign finance data after the following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Annual1/31/2022
2022 Q14/14/2022
2022 Q26/14/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/25/2022
2022 Q39/27/2022
2022 Q410/31/2022
2022 Jan Annual1/31/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Congressman Jim Hagedorn (R) passes away

Congressman Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.) passed away on Feb. 17 at the age of 59. He was battling kidney cancer.

Hagedorn’s wife Jennifer wrote, “Jim loved our country and loved representing the people of southern Minnesota. Every moment of every day he lived his dream by serving others. There was no stronger conservative in our state than my husband; and it showed in how he voted, led and fought for our country.”

Hagedorn represented Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District from 2019 until his death while in office.

A special election will take place to fill the U.S. House vacancy on Aug. 9, 2022. Democrats currently have a 222-211 majority in the House with two vacancies.

Hagedorn is the ninth member of the 117th Congress to leave office early. Two other members died, and six resigned to take other offices.

Additional reading:



Minnesota adopts new congressional district boundaries

Minnesota enacted new congressional district boundaries on Feb. 15 when a special judicial redistricting panel issued an order adopting final maps. Minnesota was apportioned eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it received after the 2010 census. This map will take effect for Minnesota’s 2022 congressional elections.

In its unanimous order, the panel wrote, “To afford counties and municipalities time to complete local redistricting, the statutory deadline for completing congressional and legislative redistricting is ’25 weeks before the state primary election in the year ending in two.’ In this decennium, that date is Feb. 15, 2022. That date has arrived, and the legislature has not yet enacted a congressional redistricting plan. To avoid delaying the electoral process, the panel must now act.”

After the panel issued their order, Dave Orrick of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press wrote, “The impacts of the new maps weren’t immediately clear…Since Minnesota averted losing a congressional seat, the state’s eight districts for U.S. House members don’t appear jarringly different from current maps.”

After the 2010 census, then-Gov. Mark Dayton (D) vetoed a congressional district plan that the Republican-controlled legislature had adopted, and the Minnesota Supreme Court appointed a judicial panel to draw the lines. That panel issued its map on Feb. 21, 2012.

As of Feb. 15, 33 states have adopted congressional district maps, and one state has approved congressional district boundaries that have not yet taken effect. Federal or state courts have blocked previously adopted maps in two states, and eight states have not yet adopted congressional redistricting plans after the 2020 census. Six states were apportioned one U.S. House district, so no congressional redistricting is required.

Congressional redistricting has been completed for 328 of the 435 seats (75.4%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Additional reading:



Five incumbents defeated in Minneapolis city council elections

Photo of the city of Minneapolis' skyline.

The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, held general elections for all 13 of its city council seats on Nov. 2, 2021. Fifty-eight candidates—including eleven incumbents—ran in the elections. Minneapolis used ranked-choice voting in the election, which allowed voters to rank up to three candidates on the ballot.

Of the eleven incumbents running for city council, five lost their re-election bids: Elliot Payne defeated Kevin Reich in District 1, Robin Wonsley Worlobah defeated Cam Gordon in District 2, Michael Rainville defeated Steve Fletcher in District 3, LaTrisha Vetaw defeated Phillipe Cunningham in District 4, and Emily Koski defeated Jeremy Schroeder in District 11. In comparison, three out of eleven total incumbents were defeated in the city’s 2017 city council elections.

Six incumbents won re-election: Jeremiah Ellison in District 5, Jamal Osman in District 6, Lisa Goodman in District 7, Andrea Jenkins in District 8, Andrew Johnson in District 12, and Linea Palmisano in District 13. All incumbents were Democrats except Cam Gordon, who ran as a Green Party candidate. In the two open city council seats, Jason Chavez (D) won in District 9, and Aisha Chughtai (D) won in District 10.

The Star Tribune’s Kelly Smith described the city council and mayoral elections as microcosms of a more general rift in the Democratic Party, writing “[t]he split between moderate and progressive Democratic candidates ahead of the Nov. 2 election reflects a broader gap across Minnesota and nationwide as the Democratic establishment faces intense competition from a newly energized and insurgent progressive wing of the party.” Axios Twin Cities’ Nick Halter also observed the rift, writing, “[t]he City Council has been moving to the left for several years now, and a slate of challengers [in Wards 3, 4, and 11] could move the needle back toward the middle.” This divide was seen most clearly in the debate over public safety, housing policy, and three proposed amendments to the city’s charter, which voters also decided on Nov. 2.

Elections in Minneapolis are officially nonpartisan, but the Minneapolis City Charter allows mayoral and city council candidates to choose a party label to appear below their name on the official ballot.

Of the 58 candidates who sought election, 42 were Democrats, four were Republicans, and 12 were independent or some other party. While 42 candidates identified as Democrats, the Minneapolis Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) issued its own official endorsements in seven wards. The party did not issue endorsements in six races, five of which featured incumbents.



Jacob Frey (D) re-elected as Minneapolis mayor

Jacob Frey (D) won the mayoral election in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Nov. 2. Seventeen candidates ran.

Voters could rank up to three candidates on the ballot under the city’s ranked choice voting system. Under that system, if no candidate receives a majority in the first round of tallying, candidates who mathematically cannot win are eliminated from the running and votes are redistributed to second and then third choices on those ballots. In the second round of tabulations, unofficial results showed Frey with 56.2% to Katherine Knuth’s 43.8%. Both Frey and Knuth ran as Democrats.

One of the biggest issues in the race, taking place the year after a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, was policing. Frey opposed and Knuth supported a proposed charter amendment to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Health. That amendment, Question 2, was defeated on Nov. 2 by 56.2% of voters, with 43.8% supporting it. 

Frey has been in office since 2017. Frey said his administration “consistently supported a both-and approach to community-led public safety solutions beyond traditional policing, as well as working alongside Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) leadership to build a better and more accountable department.” He also campaigned on his record on affordable housing, what he called “racially equitable economic growth,” and climate issues.

Knuth is a former state representative. She filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate survey, where she wrote, “Minneapolis is demanding a public safety system founded on one key value. Every person – regardless of race, gender, age, income, ability, or zip code – should be safe in our city. Voters are rightly asking for this vision and a concrete path toward it.” She also said the city needed an “unabashed climate justice champion” and new leadership.

Minneapolis also held elections for city council and other charter amendments. Click below for more on these elections.

Additional reading:



Initial, non-tabulated results for Minneapolis’ RCV mayoral race

Photo of the city of Minneapolis' skyline.

Minneapolis, Minn.’s mayoral election on Nov. 2 remained uncalled as of 1 p.m. ET on Nov. 3. The city used ranked choice voting. Voters could rank up to three candidates on their ballot. Initial election results showing voters’ first-choice candidates were available.

  • Incumbent Jacob Frey received 43% of first-choice votes
  • Sheila Nezhad had 21%
  • Katherine Knuth had 18%

Initial results also showed who voters selected as their second and third choices.

  • Frey was the second choice on 12% of ballots and third choice on 15%
  • Nezhad was the second choice on 20% and third on 11%
  • Knuth was second on 32% and third on 11%

Seventeen candidates ran in the election.

In ranked-choice voting, a candidate is declared the winner if he or she wins a majority of first-preference votes. In Minneapolis, if no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, either the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes or a group of candidates with no mathematical chance of winning are eliminated. First-preference votes cast for those candidates are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority.

Elections in Minneapolis are officially nonpartisan, but the Minneapolis City Charter allows mayoral and city council candidates to choose a party label to appear below their name on the official ballot. The three candidates leading in initial results all identify as Democrats. Overall, eight candidates identified as Democrats and two identified as Republicans. The remaining seven candidates identified with a mixture of minor parties or identified as independents.

Additional reading:



District judge rules against ballot initiative to replace Minneapolis Police Department; Supreme Court will hear appeal

Voters in Minneapolis will see a citizen-initiated charter amendment on their ballots to replace the Minneapolis Police Department. On Sept. 14, however, District Court Judge Jamie Anderson ruled that the ballot question for the proposal was unreasonable and misleading and enjoined election officials from counting votes on Nov. 2. On Sept. 15, the Minnesota Supreme Court, which would have final jurisdiction, agreed to hear an appeal.

Judge Anderson has ruled on the ballot language on three occasions. On Aug. 13, Anderson ruled against the Minneapolis City Council for including a statement summarizing the ballot measure that “[waded] into a grey area of explanation that is not allowed.” On Sept. 7, Anderson struck down a ballot question as “vague to the point of being misleading” and said that “ambiguities risk creating a ‘chaotic situation’ in Minneapolis.” The Minneapolis City Council approved a different, longer ballot question in response to the judge’s order. On Sept. 14, Anderson struck down the new council-approved ballot question. As ballots went to print on Sept. 7, the Minneapolis City Council cannot again change the question on the November ballot. The previous two cases were not appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court. 

The ballot initiative followed the Minneapolis City Council’s attempt to craft an ordinance replacing the MPD following the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed Floyd, was charged and sentenced for murder and manslaughter. The Minneapolis City Council approved legislation for a ballot in 2020, but, on Aug. 5, 2020, the city’s charter commission voted 10-5 to take an additional 90 days to evaluate the proposal and not send the proposal back to the City Council, blocking the measure from appearing on the ballot in 2020. 

In 2021, the campaign Yes 4 Minneapolis launched a ballot initiative campaign to replace the MPD. Kandace Montgomery, director of Black Visions Collective, is the board chairperson of Yes 4 Minneapolis, and JaNaé Bates, a theologian and communications director of ISAIAH, is the campaign’s communications director. Through the most recent report filing deadline on July 27, 2021, Yes 4 Minneapolis had received $1.48 million, including $500,000 from Open Society Policy Center and $430,383 from MoveOn.

The ballot initiative has the support of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-5) and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D). Opponents include U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D), U.S. Rep. Angie Craig (D-2), Gov. Tim Walz (D), and Mayor Jacob Frey (D). A campaign called All of Mpls is opposing the proposal. Through July 27, All of Mpls raised $109,465. 

The ballot initiative is one of three policing-related local measures on the ballot for Nov. 2, 2021, that Ballotpedia is covering. The others are a ballot initiative in Austin, Texas, to require a minimum number of police officers; and a ballot initiative in Cleveland, Ohio, to create a commission to oversee police misconduct investigations and discipline.



Minneapolis City Council approves new ballot question for initiative to replace Minneapolis Police Department 

On Sept. 7, the Minneapolis City Council held an emergency meeting to adopt language for a citizen-initiated measure to replace the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) with a Department of Public Safety (DPS). The 12-1 vote came hours after District Court Judge Jamie Anderson struck down the then-existing language as “vague to the point of being misleading.” Sept. 7 was also the deadline for the ballot to be finalized for printing ahead of the election on Nov. 2, 2021. 

The language that Judge Anderson enjoined was a 47-word question. The new language includes a 110-word question and an additional 73-word statement addressing several topics not mentioned in the prior version, including:

  • the DPS employing a “comprehensive public health approach,” with functions determined via ordinance;
  • the mayor and council, rather than just the mayor, being involved in maintaining and commanding the department; and
  • the elimination of the police chief and police minimum funding requirement from the city’s charter.

The City Council also changed the phrase strike and replace the MPD with a DPS to remove and replace the MPD with a DPS. Both versions state that the DPS would include licensed police officers should officers be considered necessary.

Judge Anderson said that ambiguities in the prior ballot question “risk creating a ‘chaotic situation’ in Minneapolis.” There were three issues, in particular, that Judge Anderson said were ambiguous: (1) whether the Minneapolis Police Department will cease to exist as of Dec. 2, 2021; (2) whether the position of police chief would be eliminated; and (3) whether a funding mechanism would exist for the new Department of Public Safety.

The citizen-initiated ballot measure followed the Minneapolis City Council’s attempt to craft an ordinance replacing the MPD following the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed Floyd, was charged and sentenced for murder and manslaughter. The Minneapolis City Council approved legislation for a ballot in 2020, but, on Aug. 5, 2020, the city’s charter commission voted 10-5 to take an additional 90 days to evaluate the proposal and not send the proposal back to the City Council, blocking the measure from appearing on the ballot in 2020. 

In 2021, the campaign Yes 4 Minneapolis launched a ballot initiative to replace the MPD. Kandace Montgomery, director of Black Visions Collective, is the board chairperson of Yes 4 Minneapolis, and JaNaé Bates, a theologian and communications director of ISAIAH, is the campaign’s communications director. Through July 27, 2021, Yes 4 Minneapolis had received $1.48 million, including $500,000 from Open Society Policy Center and $430,383 from MoveOn.

The ballot initiative has the support of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-5) and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D). Opponents include U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D), U.S. Rep. Angie Craig (D-2), Gov. Tim Walz (D), and Mayor Jacob Frey (D). A campaign called All of Mpls is opposing the proposal. Through July 27, All of Mpls raised $109,465. 

The ballot initiative is one of three policing-related local measures on the ballot for Nov. 2, 2021, that Ballotpedia is covering. The others include a ballot initiative in Austin, Texas, to require a minimum number of police officers; and a ballot initiative in Cleveland, Ohio, to create a commission to oversee police misconduct investigations and discipline.

Additional reading:



17 candidates file for Minneapolis mayoral election

The filing deadline passed to run for elected office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, passed on Aug. 10. Candidates filed for the following offices:

  1. Mayor 
  2. City Council (Wards 1-13)
  3. Board of Estimate and Taxation
  4. Park and Recreation Commissioner At Large (3 seats)
  5. Park and Recreation Commissioner (Districts 1-6)

Seventeen candidates filed for the mayoral election, including incumbent Jacob Frey (D). Frey was first elected mayor in 2017. He served on the city council before becoming mayor. He was first elected to the Minneapolis City Council in 2013. 

Ward 9 and Ward 10 are the only seats on the city council with no incumbents running. 

There will be no primary held. Minneapolis will utilize a ranked-choice voting system for the general election that is scheduled for Nov. 2. 

Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota and the 46th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

Additional reading:



Filing deadline approaches to run for municipal office in Minneapolis, St. Paul

The filing deadline to run for elected office in Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota is on Aug. 10. Prospective candidates may file for:

The nonpartisan general election is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Elections for all five offices will use ranked choice-voting. A ranked-choice voting system is an electoral system in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are, respectively, the first- and second-largest cities in Minnesota, and the 46th- and 65th-largest in the U.S. by population.