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.