East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center the morning of the primary election in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center in Minneapolis on the morning of the August 9 primary election. Credit: Drew Arrieta | Sahan Journal

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The polls closed after Minnesota voters cast their ballots for the primary election on Tuesday, August 9. Results determine which candidates advance onto the general election in November.

Some primary races are non-partisan, meaning the top two candidates who earn the most votes advance regardless of their political affiliation. Other primary races, such as state Senate races, determine which candidate from each political party will advance to face off against each other.

Follow our live blog below:

Noor Adwan

Liz Lee handily defeats John Thompson in primary to represent St. Paul’s East Side:


Liz Lee won the primary election Tuesday to represent her home turf–St. Paul’s East Side–in the Minnesota House of Representatives. If she beats her Republican challenger in the November general election, she would become the first woman and Hmong legislator to represent District 67A.

Lee secured 89 percent of the vote in a decisive victory against incumbent John Thompson, who earned 11 percent of the vote.

“We feel good. I’m really, really proud of our team,” Lee told Sahan Journal over the phone Tuesday night over a celebratory clamor in the background.

She called the upcoming general election the “election of our generation,” and said that her campaign hopes to drive up voter turnout to secure big wins for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Governor Tim Walz in November. While she’s excited for what her historic victory means for the Hmong community in St. Paul, Lee made it clear that she wants to represent everybody.

“All of our liberations are tied,” she said.

Joey Peters

Witt, Banks vie to become first Sheriff of color for Hennepin County

Hennepin County Sheriff Major Dawanna Witt and bail agent Joseph Banks will face off against each other in the general election to be the next Hennepin County Sheriff. No person of color has ever served in this position before.

Witt finished first with 57 percent of the vote, followed by Banks with 22 percent of the vote and Bloomington police officer Jai Hansen, with 20 percent of the vote.

The race is nonpartisan, and the top two vote-getters move to the general election. They are vying to replace outgoing Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson, who is not running for reelection after a drunken driving accident earlier this year.

Hibah Ansari

Tracking a historic race:

While Zaynab Mohamed and Erin Maye Quade made waves Tuesday night towards becoming the first Black women elected to the state Senate, three candidates lost their primaries.

Huldah Hiltsley lost the primary race for state Senate in Brooklyn Center against Susan Pha. Zuki Ellis lost in St. Paul against longtime incumbent Sandy Pappas. Running as a Republican, Larvita McFarquhar also lost the primary race in Greater Minnesota.

Three candidates are also vying to make history. As the only registered Democrats in their districts, Clare Oumou Verbeten and Farhio Khalif did not have a primary race but will appear on the ballot in November. Marla Helseth will also appear on the ballot as a Republican in November.

Joey Peters

María Isa Pérez-Hedges declares victory in DFL primary to represent open state House seat in St. Paul's West Side:

With half of the precincts reporting, artist and community organizer María Isa Pérez-Hedges is leading photographer Anna Botz by 61 points for this seat that represents St. Paul’s West Side.

Pérez-Hedges declared victory on Twitter just before 10 pm Tuesday night.

Pérez-Hedges went into Tuesday night favored to win, with endorsements from the DFL and elected officials like Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter.

“Maria just brings a really new and unique perspective to the government and the statehouse,” said Dieu Do, campaign manager for State Senator Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul. “She comes from a very unique background. She's a performer. She's a musician. She works with youth. She works in policy. She truly understands what it feels like to come from an underrepresented community.”

Pérez-Hedges will likely face Republican Kevin Fjelsted in the general election. But this district is likely to favor DFL candidates.

Becky Z. Dernbach

Ibrahim Mohamed loses primary, ending run to become Scott County’s first commissioner of color:


Ibrahim Mohamed, who was vying to become Minnesota’s first Somali county commissioner, lost his election bid in Scott County on Tuesday night.

Ibrahim earned 23 percent of the primary vote with all precincts reporting. Shakopee City Council Member Jody Brennan earned the most votes with 44 percent, and former Shakopee City Council Member Michael Luce finished second with 34 percent.

Brennan and Luce will compete against each other in the November 8 general election for the commissioner post.

Ibrahim, who made history in 2020 when he was elected as Shakopee’s first Black school board member, had hoped to be the first person of color to ever serve on the Scott County board.

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