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Sieben, McNarmara and Garofalo all retain seats

The area incumbents have been returned to the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate.

Rep. Denny McNamara, Republican, Hastings, and DFL Sen. Katie Sieben, Cottage Grove, easily were returned to office in Tuesday's general election.

McNamara defeated his Democratic challenger Joanna Bayers, Hastings, 12,493 to 9,228, or about a 57 percent to 42 percent margin.

Sieben defeated her Republican challenger Janis Quinlan, St. Paul Park, 26,998, to 15,256, or a margin of 64 percent to 36 percent.

"I'm excited to serve the residents of the district again," said McNamara. "I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead."

Sieben extended her gratitude to everyone who voted for her and the volunteers who assisted in her campaign.

"I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude," she said.

As he knocked on doors in the district, McNamara said people expressed their concerns and issues to him.

"They want government to live within their means," he said. "People live within their budget--government should too.

"They respect that I stay close with them - they want that to continue," he said.

Sieben heard three issues which her constituents are concerned about.

"There is the economy," she said. "They want us to take productive action.

"I heard about education; people want us to pay back the $1 billion shift (done last year to balance the state's projected budget problem)," she said. "And they expressed the need for a bi-partisan approach."

Both the Minnesota House and Senate will now be controlled by the Democrats (after two years of Republican control).

"Even with that now in place, they want us to work with the Republicans on the issues facing the state," said Sieben.

The defeat of both the marriage and photo ID voter amendments surprised Sieben. She had advocated that neither one should have been placed on the ballot. During the last session, she had been actively involved in addressing some voter issues.

"I think that the concerns and issues should be, can be, addressed in the statute, rather than by amendment," she said.

The next session of the Legislature begins in early January.

District 58B

Voters in rural Hastings, Miesville, New Trier, Hampton, Vermillion and Farmington re-elected Republican Pat Garofalo to the state house of representatives. Garofalo beat rural Hastings resident Jim Arlt, 59 percent to 41 percent.