All four incumbent legislators were leading, or had won, their races for reelection at press time. With the vast majority of precincts reporting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, all were poised to keep their seats in the Minnesota Legislature.
Senate District 2:
Sen. Paul Utke, GOP-Park Rapids, defeated White Earth Treasurer Leonard Alan Roy, with 65% of the vote compared to Roy's 35%.
Utke, a first-term senator, enjoyed a sophomore surge and increased his voter margin from 2016 by 12 points. Before the 2020 results started coming in, Utke said, "We won't know for sure until all of the votes come in, but the reception has been great, the feedback has been great."
Utke said the campaign was different this year due to the coronavirus, but he was pleased with how his campaign adapted to focus more on social media interactions.
"We've got to kind of reinvent ourselves every now and then, and we definitely did this time around," he said.
Senate District 4:
Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, defeated political newcomer Mark Larson with 55% of the vote and 100% of precincts reporting.
Eken, a former five-term member of the Minnesota House, will win in his third Senate term in a seat he has held since 2012.
Prior to the election results, Eken said, he noticed his race hadn't been targeted by outside groups with spending nearly as much as his previous elections for the Senate seat. He also said campaigning without large events like county fairs and parades, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, changed the way candidates connected with voters.
Eken said he voted in this election by absentee ballot in his township, which has gone entirely to mail-in ballots due to the limited amount of voters in rural townships.
"The number of people aren't that many, and to have people manning polling stations all day for maybe a handful of voters that come in, it's a lot more cost efficient to do it by mail," he said.
MN House District 2B:
Rep. Steve Green, GOP-Fosston, dominated DFL challenger David Suby with 66% of the vote, with 99% of precincts reporting.
This will be Green's fifth term representing Minnesota House District 2B, a seat he has held since 2012.
Before the results, Green said, "I always expect good results, but I never take anything for granted."
He said he was happy to hear reports of the record voter turnout numbers.
"People have been positive at the doors, so now they'll be voting and we'll see what comes out," said Green.
MN House District 4B:
Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, defeated political newcomer Brian Anderson in a close race, with 53% of the vote, compared to Anderson's 47% with all precincts reporting.
Marquart, first elected to the Minnesota House in 2000, has won an eleventh term representing the voters of District 4B.
Prior to the state results, Marquart said, "I always wait until I see the first few precincts, because you get a good feeling when you're out and about ... but contact has been a little less than normal this year."
He said he didn't meet voters through his typical door-to-door knocking, which he said is one of the most enjoyable things he does during the year.
"You didn't quite get as much of a 'feel' for things as you would if you're out there door knocking," said Marquart. "I never take anything for granted and once I start seeing some precincts come in, and I compare them to how I've done in the past, then you kind of know how things are going to go."
Marquart said he spent most of Election Day teaching. He has been a teacher in the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School District since 1984.