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Franzen Defeats Downey in Senate District 49 Race

The DFL newcomer finished with a 5-percent lead over the former State Representative.

DFL candidate Melisa Franzen is officially set to represent Senate District 49 at the Capitol next year.

Franzen, who was in a hard-fought race against former Republican State Rep. Keith Downey, managed to pull it out by more than five percentage points, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State's Office.

With 34 of 34 precincts—which includes Edina, Bloomington and parts of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka—reporting shortly after 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, Franzen secured the Senate seat with 26,893 votes to Downey's 24,045.

Franzen thanked her new constituents for their votes via social media Wednesday, saying she looks forward to representing them in St. Paul.

"SD 49, you have bestowed upon me the privilege of representing you at the Capitol," Franzen wrote. "I am humbled and grateful. Let's get to work!"

The new state senator received strong praise from Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Ryback, who took to Twitter to congratulate his fellow DFLer.

"One of the very best things in a very good night is newly elected Sen Melisa Franzen!" Ryback wrote. "Good work Edina/Bloomington."

Senate District 49 actually shifted from entirely Republican representation in the Legislature to entirely DFL legislators, with voters electing Ron Erhardt to House District 49A and Paul Rosenthal to House District 49B.

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David F November 07, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Certainly politics is full of too much money and too much negative campaigns but I think the other story is MN is tired of right wing politics. The saddest thing I have ever seen in MN was the state shutdown 2 years ago when I went into closed state parks that were deserted during the peak summer season. All the families and children that did not get enjoy the state parks came back to haunt the GOP.
Phil Johnson November 07, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Mr. Downey should have denounced the innuendo-filled mailers sent out by the Freedom Club State PAC. Fair minded voters rejected this effort by a murky organization based in Champlin, MN to meddle in a District 49 election. Look up this PAC on the Minnesota Campaign Finance website and you will find one Wayzata financial nabob who contributed $50,000 and two others who contributed $20,000. Look further into the Pac expenditures and you will find the shady campaign organizing company in Florida that mails this kind of material all over the country.
leskraus November 07, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Ron Erhardt's election as our Representative represents a return to politics of thoughfulness and bipartisanship. As a Republican, he represented us ably from 1990 up until 2008 , when he refused to give up his responsibilities as our Representative and blindly support a No New Tax pledge. His refusal to abide by any ideological litmus test, resulted in his losing the support of his party. Ron's crime was to vote for a gas tax increase, favored by his constituents and the Camber of Commerce. We are fortunate that the Democratic party chose Ron to be their candidate. We think he will be a good influence on both sides of the aisle. We wish him well. Ron was a Republican of the old fashioned variety. He is socially liberal, lets keep the government out of our bedrooms liberal, but fiscally conservative. That, combined with his willingness to work across party lines, means Edina has gotten the Representative that best reflects the values of our community.
James November 07, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Like many other democrats, I voted for him when he was a Republican, and now when he is a Democrat. I voted for Ron Erhardt, not his label. How many modern-day Republicans do that? Precious few -- which is why Ron is now a Democrat.
Chris November 09, 2012 at 01:53 PM
That is fine, a year from now when Dayton and the DFL have us all dolling out more money to support more entitlement we will see what the best course is. You do deserve congratulations for reversing the R majorities. I used to vote for Ron, but when he started treating his constituents like they were meaningless and in his way….I left his old style politics. You are kidding yourself if you think somehow he has been transformed to what we expect of today’s leaders. I have hope for Franzen, but honestly another attorney trying to balance budgets has generally not worked. Enjoy your victory lap; what comes around goes around…..

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