ST. PAUL, MN (Gray DC) - Minnesotans will cast their ballots tomorrow for multiple primary elections. Some of these races are coming down to the wire.
The candidates are still pounding the pavement leading up to the big day Tuesday. One of the hotly contested races voters will have to decide is the battle for Senator Tina Smith’s (DFL-MN) Senate seat.
Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate Richard Painter spoke with a small group of Minnesotans at a library to start off his primary eve. He says he is focused on bringing change to Washington, a town he knows well. He was a Republican ethics lawyer in the George W Bush administration. Now, he is operating on the far left end of Minnesota’s DFL.
“For me to switch from being a liberal Republican to being a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party wasn’t difficult at all,” said Painter.
Painter says sitting Senator Smith isn’t doing enough to push back against an administration he sees as disastrous for the country. As Painter pedaled his policy priorities to the small group, he discussed Medicare for all and impeaching the president right off the bat.
“We’re going to get this president out of office I think because he’s violated the Constitution and committed an abuse of power,” said Painter.
Painter’s team is expecting a neck-and-neck race tomorrow, despite being the challenger and despite not having the DFL’s endorsement. DFL Party Chair Ken Martin says Senator Smith’s record will speak for itself on primary day.
“I’m convinced tomorrow she’ll win because she’s running a positive campaign focused on her vision for Minnesota,” said Martin.
On the other side of the race, Minnesota State Senator Karin Housley (R-MN) is sitting comfortably running virtually unopposed.
“Minnesotans know that they have a real opportunity to have a new voice in the United States Senate, that it’s be so long that they’ve been forgotten,” said Housley.
She spent the final hours of the primary campaign at her riverside home in Lakeland, MN and making the rounds in the Twin Cities. She says she is not taking this race for granted, but is focused on a showdown with whoever comes out on the DFL side of things.
“Our end goal is turning this seat Republican, so that’s the end goal November 6th. That’s really what we’re focusing on,” said Housley.
Polls open at 7am CT Tuesday and close at 8pm CT.