1978 Election Cycle

The Independent-Republicans enjoyed their best election cycle in decades – making huge gains in executive and legislative contests. Al Quie and running mate Lou Wangberg defeated Governor Rudy Perpich and Lieutenant Governor Alec Olson. Down the ballot, GOP state Representative Arne Carlson defeated Auditor Bob Mattson, Jr. The DFL did hold three seats in St. Paul with Secretary of State Joan Anderson Growe, Attorney General Warren Spannaus, and Treasurer Jim Lord.

The GOP also flipped both U.S. Senate seats with Plymouth businessman Rudy Boschwitz defeating appointed U.S. Senate Wendell Anderson by 16 points and Minneapolis attorney Dave Durenberger winning the special election to Hubert Humphrey’s old seat by 26 points. Both parties retained control of their respective congressional districts (five for the GOP and three for the DFL).

The Independent-Republicans also gained 32 seats in the state House to draw even with a 67-67 tie for the subsequent legislature in January 1979.

Associate Justices C. Donald Peterson and Rosalie Wahl were elected to the Supreme Court. Wahl was the first woman to serve on and be elected to the Court in state history.

Elections

Date Office Stage Winners Details
12/19/1978 State Senate, District 13 Special David E. (Dave) Rued (Independent-Republican) won with 7,507 votes (56.79%) and a winning margin of +13.58
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
David E. (Dave) Rued Man Independent-Republican 7,507 56.79
Donald B. (Don) Samuelson Man Democratic-Farmer-Labor 5,712 43.21

Special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of DFL Senator Win Borden in November 1978.

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12/05/1978 State Senate, District 13 Special Primary David E. (Dave) Rued (Independent-Republican) won with 5,032 votes (88.40%) and a winning margin of +76.81
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
David E. (Dave) Rued Man Independent-Republican 5,032 88.40
Ernie Alexander Man Independent-Republican 660 11.60

Special primary election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of DFL Senator Win Borden in November 1978.

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12/05/1978 State Senate, District 13 Special Primary Donald B. (Don) Samuelson (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) won with 999 votes (100.00%) and a winning margin of +100.00
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Donald B. (Don) Samuelson Man Democratic-Farmer-Labor 999 100.00

Special primary election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of DFL Senator Win Borden in November 1978.

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11/07/1978 U.S. Senate General Rudy Boschwitz (Independent-Republican) won with 894,092 votes (56.57%) and a winning margin of +16.18
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Rudy Boschwitz Man Independent-Republican 894,092 56.57
Wendell (Wendy) Anderson Incumbent Man Democratic-Farmer-Labor 638,375 40.39
Sal (Christian) Carlone Man American 23,261 1.47
William E. (Bill) Peterson Man Socialist Workers 9,856 0.62
Brian John Coyle Man Public Interest Independent 8,083 0.51
Jean T. Brust Woman Workers 3,891 0.25
Leonard J. Richards Man Libertarian 2,992 0.19
Scattering Write-In 72 0.00

Senator Anderson became the eighth incumbent U.S. Senator to lose reelection joining Democrat James Shields in 1859, Democrat Charles Towne in 1901, Republican Moses Clapp in 1916, Republican Frank Kellogg in 1922, Republican Henrik Shipstead in 1946, Republican Joseph Ball in 1948, and Republican Edward Thye in 1958.

Boschwitz was a former attorney from Plymouth, member of the Republican National Committee, and founder and operator of Plywood Minnesota, Inc.

Carlone was a general contractor from St. Paul.

Peterson was a railroad worker from Minneapolis. Peterson was nominated by petition.

Coyle was a community organizer from Minneapolis. Coyle was nominated by petition.

Brust was a bookkeeper from West St. Paul and Workers nominee for the 5th CD in 1976. Brust was nominated by petition.

Richards was a reverand and public accountant from Keewatin, and Republican candidate for the 8th CD in 1974. Richards was found civilly liabile for killing his half-sister in 1982 and convicted of killing his attorney in 1987. He was serving a life sentence at a Minnesota correctional facility in Oak Park. Richards was nominated by petition.

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11/07/1978 State House, District 30A General Henry J. Kalis (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) won with 7,663 votes (63.76%) and a winning margin of +27.51
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Henry J. Kalis Incumbent Man Democratic-Farmer-Labor 7,663 63.76
Terry Guanella Man Independent-Republican 4,356 36.24