Few voters cast ballots in primary

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It was no surprise that voter turnout was very, very low in last Tuesday’s Minnesota primary election.

Only two races were on the ballot for Swift County voters: a choice between two candidates seeking the Republican slot in the 7th District U.S. House race against Democrat incumbent Rep. Collin Peterson; and, a choice of the two candidates who will face off for a Minnesota Supreme Court seat.

Peterson will face Republican Dave Hughes in November after he won Tuesday’s GOP primary against Amanda Lynn Hinson 8,769 to 6,104. Peterson, who had no primary challenger, received 16,253.

In all, 31,126 votes were cast in the primary in the 7th Congressional District. That compares to 327,267 that were cast in the 2012 7th District general election (a presidential election year) and the 240,492 that were cast in the 2014.

Hughes won in Swift County getting 134 votes to Hinson’s 94. Peterson received 378 votes.

In Swift County, 606 votes were cast in the 7th District primary election compared to 5,037 votes in the 2012 7th District election and 4,076 in the 2014 election.

Minnesota Secretary of State’s office said that roughly 7 percent of eligible voters went to the polls for Tuesday’s primary election. Just over 280,000 voters cast ballots on Tuesday. There are nearly 3.97 million eligible voters in the state.

Hughes is a political newcomer and retired Air Force officer who served in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He won the party’s endorsement in April over Hinson.

Though the district, which stretches across western Minnesota from the Canadian border to just short of Iowa, leans Republican, Peterson has easily weathered GOP challengers since taking office in 1991.

7th District Primary Vote
Republican    Votes    %
Dave Hughes    8,769    58.96
Amanda Lynn Hinson    6,104    41.04

DFL    Votes    %
Collin Peterson    16,253    100.00

Swift County Primary vote
Republican    Votes    %
Dave Hughes    134    58.8
Amanda Lynn Hinson    94    41.2

DFL    Votes    %
Collin Peterson    378    100.00

In the Supreme Court race, which narrowed the ballot choices from three candidates to two for the November election, incumbent Justice Natalie Hudson and challenger Michelle L. McDonald won the most votes. Unemployed attorney Craig Jon Foss was eliminated.

Natalie Hudson  - Incumbent
2015-present Minnesota Supreme Court
2002 – 2015 Minnesota Court of Appeals judge
1994-2002 Assistant Attorney General Criminal Appellate Division

Michelle L. McDonald
1986 – present full-time practicing attorney.
1999 – 2014 conciliation, small claims court judge for Hennepin County.
Founder of Family Innocence, a non-profit dedicated to keeping families out of court.

Supreme Court Swift County Vote

Supreme Court 6    Votes    %
Natalie Hudson    306    52.7
Michelle L. MacDonald    168    28.9
Craig Foss    107    18.4

Supreme Court Minnesota Vote

Supreme Court 6    Votes    %
Natalie Hudson    173,884    65.0
Michelle L. MacDonald    54,853    20.5
Craig Foss    38,960    14.5

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