There is a special election tonight for the empty seat of Senator Gary Kubly (DFL), who recently passed away. The race is between state Rep. Lyle Koenen, 2010 Republican nominee Gregg Kulberg and IP candidate Leon Greenslit.
A bit of background from OGGoldy:
Lots of Peterson/Walz types here. And the DFL has a far superior candidate in 10-year state representative (who represents 50% of SD-20, as HDs are nested 2-in-1 per SD), and the Republicans have the 2010 candidate who lost to Kubly by 14. Republican's aren't contesting this seat really, as the seat is being divvied up among other senate districts following redistricting, and Koenen (if victorious) will be running against Senator Gimse, which will likely be one the the marquee senate races in 2012.
Koenen is a good fit for the district, being one of the DFLers who voted for the marriage amendment. Republicans are not going all-out for the seat, although they did do some turnout for the race. This election will not change control of the Senate, with 37 Republicans and 29 Democrats. Essentially if Kulberg wins, it ensures Koenen does not have the benefit of incumbency headed into the fall against Gimse.
Secretary of State
10:42 PM: Darn, no special election for Koenen's seat because the Minnesota legislature will be adjourning before the election could be held.
10:27 PM: Less than an hour and a half after the polls closed, we have 100% reporting. Koenen wins with 54% over Republican Gregg Kulberg and IPer Leon Greenslit 54%-40%-5%. In 2010 Kulberg lost to Kubly under these lines by 14 points; he lost this race 13 points, even though Koenen only represented half of the district in the House.
10:17 PM: We can go ahead and call this for Koenen. He leads Kulberg 55%-40% with Greenslit at 5%. 94% of precincts are reporting, with only 11 left.
9:58 PM: Koenen's margin has decreased. He leads with 54% over Kulberg with 40% and Greenslit with 5%. 79% of precincts are reporting, 154 of 195. There is less than an 800 vote margin between Kulberg and Koenen.
9:43 PM: Thus far it is looking like a strong showing for Koenen. He leads Kulberg 61%-36%, with Greenslit trailing with 3% of the vote.