Stumpf wins re-election in Minnesota District 1 Senate
This is a CORRECTED VERSION of the original article. Victory Tuesday was bittersweet for LeRoy Stumpf, the longtime state senator from District 1. Not only did his DFL colleagues in the House lose their races, but Stumpf also lost the chairmanshi...
This is a CORRECTED VERSION of the original article.
Victory Tuesday was bittersweet for LeRoy Stumpf, the longtime state senator from District 1.
Not only did his DFL colleagues in the House lose their races, but Stumpf also lost the chairmanship of a powerful committee with the Republicans gaining a Senate majority.
Stumpf, a member of the Legislature for 30 years, even felt the effects, although not fatally as happened to his teammates. Stumpf received 58 percent of the vote in his race against Republican challenger Russell Walker, while his vote-drawing percentage has traditionally been in the 60s and sometimes in the 70s.
"Even though I won, it's a disappointing election from our perspective," Stumpf said from his rural Plummer home. "There's going to be a lot of changes that are going to take place.
"How much it changes will be determined by who wins the governor recount."
Being in the minority, Stump will lose the chairmanship of the Senate Education and Finance Committee, which handles K-12 funding. He also was a member of the powerful bonding committee.
"I definitely want to keep membership on the education committee so I can hopefully remain a strong voice for rural schools," he said.
Asked why he survived when so many other DFLers did not, Stumpf drew a comparison to Collin Peterson, the U.S. congressman from the 7th District who is a moderate Democrat.
"We have a lot of similarities," Stumpf said. "We each have a small business, so we understand Main Street and the difficulties that small businesses and employers are having.
"At the same time, I think my heart definitely is with the people who need help the most."
Walker, a Roseau County commissioner for 13 years, said he was satisfied with his performance against a candidate with such high name recognition and a 30-year history of winning elections.
"It's better to win, but under the circumstances, I think I did all right," he said. "I'm glad I did what I did."
He said he put 20,000 miles on his vehicle and spent $15,000 the campaign; more than $12,000 of it was campaign contributions. Since he defeated the Republican-endorsed candidate in the primary, he did not receive party money.
"The party said it would take about $60,000 to win," he said.
He said he hasn't thought about whether he will run again in two years.
"What I like about it most is that it was a good, clean race," Walker said. "LeRoy and I will go back to working together again on matters just like we did before."
Reach Bakken at (701) 780-1125; (800) 477-6572, ext. 125; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
CORRECTION: Russell Walker, the Republican candidate for the Minnesota District 1 Senate seat, received more than $12,000 in campaign contributions. The amount was incorrect on Page C3 of the Nov. 4 Herald.