Rice County voters followed statewide trends while voting in the Primary Election Tuesday.  Voting results came in from most precincts within the first hour after the polls closed.  Northfield has traditionally been the last area to provide results but they arrived at about the same time as Faribault.  Morristown and Morristown Township came in shortly after 10:00 p.m.  The rapid results are thanks to the new voting equipment obtained by Rice County.

Election Judges used IPads to register voters and the results were tabulated quicker due to the computerized system.  Every county in Minnesota has reported results but not all the precincts were in across the state around midnight.  In the U.S. Representative District 1 race it appears Jim Hagedorn and Dan Feehan will square off in the General Election in November.  Those individuals also received the most votes in Rice County.  GOP candidate Hagedorn had approximately 66 percent of votes cast or 1,355 total votes and DFL voters checked the box of Dan Feehan most often with 1,467 votes and 78.2 percent of the vote.

Voters can not cross party lines in the Primary Election.  Using the Governor's race for the numbers 5,738 people voted DFL and 3,247 voted Republican in the Rice County Primary.

Doug Wardlow and Keith Ellison will be facing each other in the General Election for the office of Minnesota Attorney General.  Statewide Ellison had received 278,288 votes or 49.9 percent of votes submitted.  In Rice County Ellison received 48 percent and a total of 2,672 votes.  On the GOP ticket Jim Newberger got 2,081 votes pr 69.7 percent.

The GOP Governor race was too close to call with 22 precincts remaining as of 12:40 a.m.  Jeff Johnson held a 52.6 to 43.9 lead over Tim Pawlenty.  Johnson had 167,651 votes and Pawlenty 139,860.  In Rice County Johnson garnered support from 60.5 percent of the voters with 1,965 total votes and Pawlenty got 36.6 percent or 1,190.

Some media outlets had declared Tim Walz the winner on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) side.  Walz had approximately 41.7 percent or 241,956 votes cast.  Erin Murphy was next with 32.1 percent or 186,259 votes and Lori Swanson received 24.4 percent of votes cast and 141,816 total votes.  In Rice County Walz collected 48 percent of the votes cast, 2,757 total votes.  Murphy was next 31.5 percent and 1,808 total votes.  Swanson had 19 percent or 1,090 votes.

Amy Klobuchar blew away her competition in the U.S. Senate DFL primary with 95.7 percent of votes statewide and 95.6 percent in Rice County.  548,736 and 5,475 were the votes cast respectively.  Her opponent will be Jim Newberger who garnered 69.5 percent of votes cast statewide and 198,342 total votes,

The U.S. Senator Special Election to fill the remaining time left of former Senator Al Franken's term was also a runaway for the appointment to the position on the DFL side.  Tina Smith chalked up 76 percent of the vote statewide or 426,696 total votes.  The closes challenger was Richard Painter with 77,106 votes statewide.  In Rice County Smith got 76.8 percent of votes cast or 4,332 total votes.  Painter had 832.

Faribault Precinct 1 Dean Curtis 4-H Building. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld