1958 Election Cycle
In the midst of a national Democratic wave, the DFL was able to pick up two of four seats they did not already hold on the ballot in partisan statewide races. DFL U.S. Representative Eugene McCarthy unseated Republican U.S. Senator Edward Thye to give Democrats control of both seats for the first time since 1859. Ron Anderson also flipped the Railroad and Warehouse Commission seat held by Wally Lund.
All four DFL incumbents cruised to double-digit victories: Governor Orville Freeman, Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag, Secretary of State Joseph Donovan, and Attorney General Miles Lord. [Lord resigned in May 1960 and Freeman appointed Minneapolis attorney Walter Mondale to fill the vacancy]. Auditor Stafford King and Treasurer Val Bjornson narrowly held their seats for the Republican Party.
Republican August Andresen’s death in January 1958 prompted just the fourth special U.S. House election in state history. Al Quie held the 1st CD seat with a 602-vote win for the GOP in February. That November, Republicans flipped one seat to hold a 5-4 advantage in the state delegation after Odin Langen defeated 9th CD Congresswoman Coya Knutson.
Associate Justice Frank Gallagher was elected to his third term on the Supreme Court.