Minnesota Results: Franken Cruises, Davis to Take On Walz

Posted September 9, 2008 at 11:08pm

Comedian Al Franken easily won the Democratic Senate primary in Minnesota Tuesday evening, defeating attorney Priscilla Lord Faris and a handful of other little-known candidates. With 61 percent of precincts reporting, Franken captured 67 percent of the vote to Faris’ 29 percent.

Franken already earned his party’s endorsement in June, however a series of bad news cycles left some Democrats — including Faris — doubting whether he could forge a formidable challenge to Sen. Norm Coleman (R). But on Tuesday night, Franken said in a statement that he was hopeful his campaign would prevail over the next eight weeks.

“The choice is now clear for Minnesotans: Will we stay the course with Norm Coleman and his support of George Bush’s failed agenda — or will we set a new course for our middle-class families and a new direction for our country?” Franken said.

Franken revealed earlier this year that he had incorrectly paid both his personal and corporation’s taxes. Republicans also brought to light some of his previous comedic work, including a 2000 column in Playboy magazine, that many critics deemed to be sexist.

However public polling shows a close race with Coleman typically leading Franken by single digits. Dean Barkley (I), a top aide to former Gov. Jesse Ventura (I) who served briefly in the Senate, won his party’s primary and will be a factor in the race between Franken and Coleman in November.

Meanwhile in the 1st district, physician Brian Davis (R) has officially earned the opportunity to challenge freshman Rep. Tim Walz (D) this fall. Though Davis already had his party’s endorsement, state Sen. Dick Day disregarded the wishes of party leaders and challenged the Mayo Clinic doctor in the GOP primary. With 89 percent of precincts reporting, Davis defeated Day, 66 percent to 34 percent, according to the Minnesota secretary of state.