Polls open to decide governor’s GOP opponent

Published 9:52 am Tuesday, August 12, 2014

EDEN PRAIRIE — Minnesotans are going to the polls in a primary election that will determine which Republicans will face Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken in the fall, among other races.

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson had the GOP’s endorsement for governor that he hopes will pay off amid an expectedly light turnout. He faced a trio of major rivals: businessman Scott Honour and legislative veterans Marty Seifert and Kurt Zellers.

About a half dozen people were waiting in line when polls opened today at Pax Christi Catholic Church in suburban Eden Prairie where a contested state house race is on the Republican ballot. Sunny skies and crisp temperatures made for a pleasant morning to vote, but turnout is expected to be light across the state, reaching perhaps 10 to 15 percent.

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There’s no clear favorite in the race for the GOP endorsement for governor. Republicans are also choosing a candidate to challenge Franken.

There’s less drama on the Democratic side of the ballot where the main event is a statewide primary for state auditor.

In Freeborn County, polls are open today until 8 p.m.

City election officials have increased security at four precincts in Minneapolis where a contentious state house race will be decided.

Sergeant-at-arms will monitor and maintain order, if needed, in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood where long-serving DFL Rep. Phyllis Kahn faces a challenge from school board member Mohamud Noor. He’s trying to become the first Somali-American to win a Minnesota state house seat.

The primary will likely send the winner to the Legislature in heavily Democratic Minneapolis.