1990 Election Cycle
The DFL gubernatorial ticket of Rudy Perpich and Marlene Johnson failed in their attempt for an unprecedented third consecutive four-year term – but not without drama. Auditor Arne Carlson lost the GOP primary to Afton businessman Jon Gruseth. Carlson began a write-in campaign for the office as news reports surfaced that Gruseth had engaged in a long-time extramarital affair. Gruseth eventually withdrew in late October and Carlson and his running mate Joanell Dyrstad defeated the Perpich ticket with a plurality of the vote.
Meanwhile, DFL Secretary of State Joan Anderson Growe won a fifth term, DFL Attorney General Skip Humphrey won a third term, and DFL Treasurer Michael McGrath was reelected to a second term. The DFL also picked up Carlson’s open Auditor seat behind nominee Mark Dayton.
The DFL also made gains in federal races with political science professor Paul Wellstone unseating two-term GOP U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz. Meanwhile, the DFL picked up a seat in the 7th CD when former state Senator Collin Peterson defeated seven-term Independent-Republican Arlan Stangeland in his third attempt against the lawmaker since 1984. The DFL emerged from the cycle with a party record six seats in the eight-member delegation. It was the first time either party held six seats since the GOP won six of nine seats during the 1960 cycle.
The DFL also netted two state Senate seats to increase their margin in the chamber to 46-21. There was no partisan change in the state House where the DFL retained 80 of the 134 seats.
Associate Supreme Court Justices Rosalie Wahl, Mary Jeanne Coyne, and Sandy Keith were all elected to another term.