What’s on the ballot?

— Federal offices

U.S. Senator (special election)

Incumbent Sen. Tina Smith (DFL), the former lieutenant governor appointed in December to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Al Franken, faces a challenge from state Sen. Karin Housley (GOP), who represents a district on the western edge of the metro area. Also appearing on the ballot are Sarah Wellington (Legal Marijuana Now) and unaffiliated candidate Jerry Trooien.


U.S. Senator

Two-term incumbent Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL), who previously served as Hennepin County Attorney, is seeking re-election and faces a challenge from Jim Newberger (GOP), a state representative from Becker. Also appearing on the ballot are Dennis Schuller (Legal Marijuana Now) and Paula M Overby (Minnesota Green Party).


U.S. Representative, 5th District

Candidates for this seat —held since 2007 U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who is running for Minnesota attorney general — include DFL state Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minneapolis and Republican Jennifer Zielinski, who also lives in Minneapolis and works for Allina Health.


— State offices

Governor and Lieutenant Governor

An opening in the governor’s office has drawn Jeff Johnson (GOP), a Hennepin County commissioner joined by running mate Donna Bergstrom, and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (DFL), whose running mate is Peggy Flanagan. Also on the ballot are Chris Wright and Judith Schwartzbacker (Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis) and Josh Welter and Mary O’Connor (Libertarian).


Secretary of State

Incumbent Steve Simon (DFL), who took office in 2015, is running for re-election against former Red Wing mayor and state Sen. John Howe (GOP) and William Denney (Independence), a compliance officer at a manufacturing company.


State Auditor

Rebecca Otto’s entry into the governor’s race created an opening that drew candidates Julie Blaha (DFL), a former math teacher who is now secretary-treasurer of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, and Pam Myrha (GOP), a certified public accountant at KPMG. Also running are Chris Dock (Libertarian Party) and Michael Ford (Legal Marijuana Now).


Attorney General

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL) and attorney Doug Wardlow (GOP) are competing for the post currently held by Lori Swanson, who attempted to win the DFL nomination for governor this year. They’re joined on the ballot by Noah M. Johnson (Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis).


State Representative

Contested state house races include District 60B, with Mohamud Noor (DFL) and Joseph Patino (GOP) competing for the seat of DFL state Rep. Ilhan Omar, now a candidate for congress. (Click here for more information.)

Several longtime incumbents whose districts include portions of downtown or Northeast are also seeking re-election, including 59B incumbent Raymond Dehn (DFL), who is running against Lacy Johnson (GOP); 60A incumbent Diane Loeffler (DFL), facing Kelly Winsor (GOP); and 61A incumbent Frank Hornstein (DFL), facing Jeremy Hansen (GOP).



There are two contested statewide races on the ballot, for one seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court and one seat on the Court of Appeals. The Minnesota State Bar Association has posted candidate questionnaires on its website. Go to mnbar.org or mnjudges.org for more information.

Also appearing on the ballot are a number of uncontested Court of Appeals and Fourth District races.


— Local offices

County Commissioner

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Minneapolis voters will elect Hennepin County commissioners in three districts. DFL-endorsed candidate Irene Fernando faces former Minneapolis City Council Member Blong Yang in District 2; DFL-endorsed incumbent Marion Greene faces a challenge from organizer and activist LaDonna Redmond in District 3; and incumbent Peter McLaughlin faces Angela Conley in District 4.


County Attorney

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Incumbent Mike Freeman’s re-election campaign pits him against attorney Mark Haase, who has the DFL endorsement.



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DFL-endorsed candidate Dave “Hutch” Hutchinson, a Metro Transit Police Department sergeant, faces incumbent Rich Stanek.


School Board Member

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Four candidates will vie for two at-large board seats in the non-partisan race: incumbent Rebecca Gagnon, Kimberly Caprini, Sharon El-Amin and Josh Pauly. Caprini and Pauly have the DFL endorsement.


— Ballot questions

Minneapolis Public Schools has two questions on the ballot, one to renew its referendum, increasing general education revenue by $490 per pupil, and another to add a new capital project levy that would raise $12 million per year for seven years to pay for regular maintenance and upgrades to district technology systems. (Click here for more information.)

A third ballot question ask voters to amend the city charter, allowing restaurants located anywhere in the city to apply for a full liquor license. Currently, restaurants located outside of commercial districts of at least 7 acres are limited to offering beer and wine, unless they apply to the state legislature for an exemption.


— Dylan Thomas