DFLers won two special elections on Tuesday evening for Minneapolis seats in the House and Senate.
DFL attorney Susan Allen, who was vying for south Minneapolis House District 61B, won the seat with about 56 percent of the vote, beating out “Respect” candidate Nate Blumenshine. Blumenshine garnered about 43 percent of the vote.
Hennepin County staffer Kari Dziedzic easily won the Senate District 59 race in northeast Minneapolis, beating out Republican candidate Ben Schwanke with about 80 percent of the vote. Dziedzic will replace longtime Minneapolis senator and former DFL Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, who resigned his seat to lead the Office of Higher Education.
Allen will replace former DFL Rep. Jeff Hayden, who won a special election to replace retiring Sen. Linda Berglin in Senate District 61. Allen, who has lived in the Powderhorn neighborhood for the last 14 years, works with the law firm Fredericks, Peebles & Morgan, specializing in tribal and local government relations. Allen will be the first Native American woman to serve in the Minnesota Legislature.
Dziedzic is a staffer in Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein’s office. Her father, Walt Dziedzic, was a powerful political figure in Minneapolis politics. Dziedzic won out in a five-way DFL primary election for the seat just last month.