Parties maintain control of MN legislative seats after special e - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Parties maintain control of MN legislative seats after special elections

St. Paul, Minn. (AP/KTTC) -

Democrats in Minnesota have held on to a state Senate seat in a special election, preserving their hopes of retaking the chamber later this year.

Karla Bigham narrowly defeated Republican Denny McNamara for the seat in eastern suburbs of St. Paul.

This race was to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Dan Schoen.

The district backed Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but is traditionally swing territory.

Both were former lawmakers who touted their legislative experience.

Bigham's victory keeps Republicans' Senate majority at 34-33 and puts extra pressure on a lawsuit seeking to force GOP Sen. Michelle Fischbach from her seat after she ascended to become lieutenant governor.

A Ramsey County judge dismissed that lawsuit Monday but it could be appealed.

The Senate race was one of two special elections Monday triggered by the resignations last year of two lawmakers accused of sexual harassment.

Republican Jeremy Munson easily defeated Democrat Melissa Wagner in a traditionally conservative southwestern Minnesota House district.

That vacancy was caused by the resignation of Representative Tony Cornish.

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