House District 27A candidate Shannon Savick, a DFLer from Wells, hugs supporter Rose Anderson of Albert Lea after Savick defeated freshman legislator Rich Murray, a Republican from Albert Lea. -- Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

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Savick defeats Murray in District 27A

Published 6:45am Wednesday, November 7, 2012
District 27A Rep. Rich Murray and his son Jon look at election results Tuesday night in a banquet room where Republicans gathered. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea
District 27A Rep. Rich Murray and his son Jon look at election results Tuesday night in a banquet room where Republicans gathered. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea

Former Wells Mayor Shannon Savick defeated incumbent House District 27A Rep. Rich Murray Tuesday in what Savick herself described as an unexpected win.

The race between Murray, R-Albert Lea, and Savick, DFL-Wells, drew state leaders from both parties to town in recent weeks to rally for the candidates. Outside groups have also spent big money on the candidates as both sides struggled for power in the state Legislature.

According to results from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office, Savick obtained 653 more votes than Murray with 9,744 votes and 9,091 votes respectively.

A swing factor in the race could have been the 1,574 votes received by Independence Party candidate William Wagner of Geneva, which were enough to bridge the gap between Murray and Savick.

Former District 27A state Rep. Robin Brown hugs Shannon Savick, who was elected Tuesday to be District 27A state representative. -- Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

Under new district boundaries, District 27A encompasses all of Freeborn County and portions of Faribault County, Mower County, Dodge County and Steele County.

While Murray won Wells and Albert Lea’s wards 1 and 2, Savick won Albert Lea’s wards 3, 4, 5 and 6. Savick also won all of Dodge County and Blooming Prairie in Steele County.

“I didn’t do this by myself,” said Savick in front of a group of DFLers at America’s Best Value Inn. She thanked the people who supported her campaign, made phone calls and knocked on doors.

“This was not my campaign,” she said. “This was our campaign.”

She said she did not expect to win but rather thought the race would be a close one.

“My whole life I can’t remember my knees shaking like this,” she said.

Savick, who worked in the high-tech computer industry for more than 20 years, had planned to run for the Legislature in District 24B before the districts were reorganized. She said she decided to run after seeing firsthand in Wells how the Legislature’s decisions can affect small communities.

Her campaign theme was “Representation, not politics.”

Murray, the owner of a small financial advisement firm, was elected to the seat in 2010 by 57 votes.

He found out the news Tuesday in a separate banquet room for Republicans at the hotel. Most of the people in the room had cleared out after hearing about the loss of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to Democrat President Barack Obama.

Muray said he was proud of his race and plans to continue his efforts to help the community.

Though he said he felt “a little dejected,” he believes things in life happen for a reason.

“When one door closes, another one opens,” Murray said.

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