An Early Look at Minnesota’s 2024 Political Landscape

Date: February 07, 2024

An early look at the down ballot races and how they'll shape Minnesota's small business environment.

While all eyes will be on the top of the ticket come November 5, 2024, down ballot races will play a major role in shaping taxes, regulation, and other policies that impact Main Street Minnesota.

As campaign season starts to heat up, we’re sharing some key dates and key races to watch this year.

Matchups in many crucial Minnesota House races remain unsettled.

If you or someone you know is interested in running, feel free to contact the NFIB Minnesota State Director about what it’s like to run and serve in the state legislature: [email protected], 651-293-1283.


February 27: Precinct Caucus Night. Precinct caucus is one of the first major steps on the road to Election Day in November. Among other actions, precinct caucuses will elect precinct officers and convention delegates.

If you want to help elect candidates to office who share your values and will put the state on a better track, becoming a convention delegate is a critical first step. Convention delegates play a major role in deciding which candidates receive each party’s endorsement.

You can learn more about Precinct Caucus Night, including where your local party precinct meets, here: Minnesota Secretary Of State – Precinct caucuses.

March 5: Presidential Primary Election Day. As in 2020, Minnesota will hold a presidential primary election as part of “Super Tuesday.” This is often a make-or-break night for presidential contenders.

You can learn more about the Presidential Primary here: Minnesota Secretary Of State – Presidential primary.

March-April: Local Endorsing Conventions. Those who are elected delegates on Precinct Caucus Night go on to BPOU endorsing conventions, where parties will endorse candidates for the Minnesota House of Representatives. This is a pivotal step that often determines the party’s nominee in November.

May 21: Candidate Filing Period Opens. Those who want to run for election to federal, state, and county offices can begin filing their candidacy.

Learn more about candidate filing here: Minnesota Secretary Of State – Candidate Filing Periods

June 4: Candidate Filing Period Closes. Candidates for office must file by 5p on this day.

August 13: State Primary Election Day. In districts where multiple candidates have filed for local and state office, they will face off to determine who goes on to the General Election.

November 5: Election Day. The day to cast your vote for candidates who support small businesses.


President. Increasingly, it looks like a rematch of the 2020 election with President Biden facing off against former President Trump. National polls show a highly competitive contest, and the only recent polling shows a similarly tight race in Minnesota.

U.S Senate. At the federal level, Senator Amy Klobuchar is seeking a fourth term to the United States Senate. Sen. Klobuchar was first elected in 2006 and has been comfortably re-elected in 2012 and 2018. Early polling shows Sen. Klobuchar with a comfortable lead over.

A well-known challenger has not yet emerged on the Republican side. Current candidates include Navy Veteran Joe Fraser, Royce White, Patrick Munro, John Berman, Mike Ruoho.

U.S. House, MN-02. The most competitive U.S. House race in Minnesota looks to be Congressional District 2, which covers the south metro and parts of Southern Minnesota from Hastings to Kasota.

In CD 2, Rep. Angie Craig was first elected in 2018 and has won each race by fewer than six points.

Two Republican challengers have emerged: attorney Tyler Rahm and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Teirab.

U.S. House, MN-03. In Congressional District 3, third-term Rep. Dean Phillips is vacating this seat as he pursues a primary challenge to President Joe Biden. Rep. Phillips won about 20% of the primary vote in New Hampshire but faced rougher sledding in South Carolina where he received about 2%. He’s pledged to continue his campaign through at least Super Tuesday.

On the DFL side, state Sen. Kelly Morrison and Democratic National Committeeman Ron Harris are the leading contenders bidding to succeed Phillips. For Republicans, businessman Blaize Harty and attorney Quentin Wittrock have launched campaigns. The district leans DFL.

If Morrison wins, it creates an interesting scenario in the Minnesota Senate. Democrats currently hold a one-seat majority, meaning a vacancy would trigger a special election that could tip the balance of power and end the DFL Trifecta (Governor, House, Senate).

Minnesota House of Representatives. All 134 seats in the Minnesota House are up for election in 2024, with no statewide offices or state senate seats up. Currently, the DFL holds a 70-64 advantage in the chamber.

Control of the Minnesota House will likely come down to fewer than 20 districts. We look at some of those key races – most decided by less than 5 points in 2022 – here:


HD 3A (International Falls, NE Minnesota): Rep. Roger Skraba (R)* v. Harley Droba (DFL)

Skraba is a small business owner who runs an outfitting business in Ely. He first won election in 2022 by a slim 15 votes. Harley Droba is the mayor of International Falls.

HD 3B (Duluth, St. Louis County): Rep. Natalie Zeleznikar (R)* v. TBD

Like Skraba, Zeleznikar first won election in 2022 by a narrow margin (33 votes). She’s a nursing home administrator and small business advocate. A DFL opponent has not yet emerged.

HD 7B (Aurora, Mt. Iron): Rep. Dave Lislegard (DFL)* v. Cal Warwas (R)

Lislegard is the former mayor of Aurora and was first elected to the Minnesota House in 2018. Lislegard prevailed by 2.5% in 2022. He faces Cal Warwas, a mining worker and director of the Range Association of Municipalities in Schools.

HD 11A (Cloquet, Kettle River): Rep. Jeff Dotseth (R)* v. Pete Radosevich (DFL)

Dotseth is a realtor, home builder, and longtime NFIB member who was first elected in 2022. He faces a rematch with attorney and newspaper owner Pete Radosevich, whom he defeated by 2.5% in 2022.

HD 14A (St. Cloud, Waite Park): Rep. Bernie Perryman (R)* v. Abdi Daisane (DFL)

Perryman is local businesswoman who operates two Batteries Plus stores in the St. Cloud area. Also an NFIB member, she was first elected in 2022 by 1.5%. Daisane is a former city council candidate who runs a childcare center in St. Cloud.

HD 14B (St. Cloud): Rep. Dan Wolgamott (DFL)* v. TBD

Wolgamott is a realtor who was first elected in 2018 and has faced increasingly close contests since, winning by 3.5% in 2022. As of February 7, 2024, a Republican candidate has not yet declared for this seat.

HD 18A (St. Peter, North Mankato): Rep. Jeff Brand (DFL)* v. TBD

Brand is an insurance agent who first won election in 2018. He lost a close race in 2020, then won a tight race (2.5%) in a 2022 comeback. As of February 7, 2024, a Republican candidate has not yet declared for this seat.

HD 32B (Blaine): Rep. Matt Norris (DFL)* v. TBD

Norris is an attorney and former policy director for a youth nonprofit organization. He was first elected in 2022 by 2.5%. Republican Alex Moe is a law student and recent graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Additional Republicans may get in the race.

HD 35B (Coon Rapids): Keri Rehrauer (DFL) v. TBD

Rehrauer is a teacher and Coon Rapids City Council member who narrowly lost a state Senate race in 2022. As of February 7, 2024, a Republican candidate has not yet declared for this seat.

HD 36A (White Bear Township, Lino Lakes): Rep. Elliott Engen (R)* v. TBD

Engen works in invasive species prevention for a local nonprofit organization and was first elected in 2022 by 3%. As of February 7, 2024, a DFL candidate has not yet declared for this seat.

HD 41A (Lake Elmo, Afton, Cottage Grove): Lucia Wroblewski (DFL) v. TBD

This seat is vacant after the retirement announcement from first-term Rep. Mark Wiens (R), Wiens won a close race in 2022. DFLer Lucia Wroblewski, a former St. Paul police officer and Afton City Council Member, launched her candidacy in 2023.

As of February 7, 2024, Republican Grayson McNew has announced his candidacy, but more Republicans are likely to get in this race.

HD 41B (Hastings, Cottage Grove): TBD

First-term Rep. Shane Hudella won a close race (2.5%) in 2022 and is not running for re-election. On the DFL side, local brewery owner Jen Fox and DFL staffer Nash Boone have announced campaigns. Republican Tom Dippel, a local small business owner who lost a close race for state Senate in 2022, is running for the seat.

HD 48B (Chaska, Chanhassen): Rep. Lucy Rehm (DFL) v. TBD

Rep. Rehm won election in 2022 by 2%, the first DFLer to represent this area in decades. She is a former Chanhassen City Council seat. Two Republicans have launched campaigns for this seat: Haley Schubert, a logistics and quality control manager for a local business and Chanhassen City Council member; and Caleb Steffenhagen, a teacher and military veteran.

HD 54A (Shakopee): Rep. Brad Tabke (DFL)* v. Aaron Paul (R)

Rep. Tabke is serving his second term, having won a tight race in 2018, lost in 2020, and won a narrow victory in 2022. Tabke is the former mayor of Shakopee. Republican Aaron Paul is a sergeant with Bloomington Police who has served as a School Resource Officer.

HD 57B (Lakeville): Rep. Jeff Witte (R)* v. Brian Cohn (DFL)

Rep. Witte is a retired police officer who first won election in 2022 by 3.5%. DFLer Brian Cohn, a local party activist and executive for the Project Management Institute, has launched a campaign.

Related Content: Small Business News | Minnesota

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