2002 Election Cycle
Governor Ventura became just the third Minnesota Governor since World War II to not seek a second term joining Republicans Harold LeVander (1970) and Al Quie (1982). Eagan Republican Representative Tim Pawlenty and running mate state Representative Carol Molnau won the open seats for Governor and Lieutenant Governor while Eagan Mayor Pat Anderson held the open Auditor seat for the GOP as did Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer. [Anderson's win was technically a pick-up as 1998 general election winner Judi Dutcher switched her partisan affiliation from Republican to DFL in January 2000]. DFL Attorney General Mike Hatch comfortably won reelection.
Two-term U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone was renominated by the DFL, but died in a plane crash 11 days before the general election. The party substituted Walter Mondale for Wellstone on the ballot, but St. Paul Mayor and Republican nominee Norm Coleman won the open seat.
After redistricting, the Republican Party was also able to pick up one U.S. House seat with John Kline unseating four-term 6th CD incumbent Bill Luther who chose to run in the 2nd CD. The GOP drew even with the DFL with each sending four U.S. Representatives to D.C.
Republicans netted five seats in the state Senate to shrink the DFL margin to 35-31 with one member of the Independence Party and netted 10 in the state House to open up an 81-52 margin on the DFL in the lower chamber.
Associate Justice Paul Anderson was elected to the Supreme Court for a third term.