Former state Rep. Tom Emmer decisively defeated Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah Tuesday in the GOP primary for Minnesota's open 6th District, putting him on a near certain path to Congress this fall to succeed retiring Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.
Emmer bested Sivarajah, 76.5 percent to 23.5 percent, with 28 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.
Primaries can be rare in Minnesota because the state party endorses a candidate earlier in the summer via convention, and other contenders usually bow out after that. In April, Emmer received the Minnesota Republican Party endorsement among a three-candidate field. One other candidate dropped out, but Sivarajah vowed to stay in the race, charging that the state party endorsement is too exclusive a process. Sivarajah never gained steam, however. She raised a paltry $4,000 between July 1 and July 23 in the lead up to the primary, compared to Emmer's $54,000 haul.
Emmer had a bettter-known name. In 2010, he lost a gubernatorial bid to now-Gov. Mark Dayton.
He is now the odds on favorite to succeed Bachmann, one of the House GOP caucus' most outspoken members. Amid swirling ethics inquiries into her 2012 presidential bid, Bachmann announced last year that she would retire after four terms.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney carried this district in 2012 by a 15-point margin, making it a solidly Republican seat.
Minnesota’s 6th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
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