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Green Party Sets Personal Best in Minnesota's HD 61B Contest

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In Minnesota’s House District 61B election on Tuesday, Green Party candidate Farheen Hakeem received 30.3 percent of the vote – the highest mark ever reached by the Green Party in a House contest.

The Green Party has run 29 candidates for the House of Representatives in special and general election contests since 1998. The previous high mark was in 2004 when Tom Taylor earned 20.9 percent in District 59A. Only five other Green Party candidates have reached double digits:

· 2002: Tom Menke in District 35A (20.0 percent)
· 2000: Holle M. Brian in District 62B (16.5 percent)
· 2006: Jesse Mortensen in District 64A (15.5 percent)
· 2004: Becki Smith in District 59B (12.7 percent)
· 2002: Eric Oines in District 58A (10.9 percent)

Hakeem and Taylor are the only Green Party candidates to have come in 2nd place in a House district contest. Hakeem set a record for defeating her Republican opponent, Kirsten Lindberg, by 21.0 points. In 2004 Taylor defeated his Republican opponent, Valdis Rozentals, by just 3.4 points.

Only one other Green Party candidate for state legislative or executive office had eclipsed the 30 percent mark in the Gopher State: Joel Sipress received 37.0 percent of the vote in the special election on January 22, 2002 in Senate District 07. However, there was no Republican on the ballot in that contest – only DFL and Independence Party candidates.

Despite this record-setting performance by Hakeem, the Green Party has had difficulty in recruiting candidates for House races in recent years, after a strong run in 2002-2004:

Number of Green Party Candidates in Minnesota House Races
1998: 1
2000: 1
2002: 17
2003 (special): 1
2004: 7
2006: 1
2008: 1

Previous post: Third Party Impact on the 2008 Minnesota Legislative Vote
Next post: How Will the National Media Cover the Franken vs. Coleman Recount?

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Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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