Presidential election hangs in balance as Smith, Craig hold onto congressional seats; Draheim, Lippert defeat challengers in Minnesota

The outcome of the 2020 presidential election hangs in the balance, while all incumbents in U.S. and Minnesota state congressional races retained seats over their respective challengers.

Senator Tina Smith (DFL) defeated republican challenger Jason Lewis by over five points, claiming Minnesota’s only senate seat up for reelection in 2020. Rep. Angie Craig (DFL) also won reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives, beating challenger Tyler Kistner (R) by slightly more than two points.

In Minnesota state races, both incumbents Rich Draheim (R) and Todd Lippert (DFL) defeated their challengers Jon Olson (DFL) and Joe Moravchik (R) respectively. Draheim will continue to represent congressional district 20 in the state senate, and Lippert will continue to represent congressional district 20B in the state house.

Paul Thissen defeated Michelle MacDonald in the election for Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, retaining his position on the court which he has held since May 2018.

Rhonda Pownell retained mayorship of Northfield, and beat challenger David Ludescher by over 30 points. Brad Ness defeated Ricky A. Livingston to win the position of council member at large.

Claudia Gonzalez-George and Corey Butler won seats on the Northfield school board for the first time, while Amy Goerwitz and Noel Stratmoen retained their positions on the board. Four seats were elected out of eight candidates, but St. Olaf Professor of Music Justin Merritt did not earn enough votes to win a position.

Jim Purfreest won the race for county commissioner in Rice County district one against incumbent Jacob Gillen.

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) won the state of Minnesota in his challenge for the U.S. presidency. The Associated Press called the state for Biden around 11:00 p.m. last night. 

As of 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4, Biden leads President Donald Trump (R) with 225 to 213 electoral college votes. The crucial swing states of Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan have yet to be called for either candidate, among five others. With mail-in and absentee ballots and early votes still being counted in several states, official results could take days or weeks to finalize.