Analysis: Control of State Senate Runs Through St. Cloud
UNDATED -- When it comes to control of the Minnesota State Senate many eyes are on the District 14 race here in St. Cloud.
Eric Ostermeier is with the Humphrey Institute. He says who wins between DFLer Aric Putnam and Republican incumbent Jerry Relph may determine which party has the majority in the Senate.
The 14th Senate District is circled with a bullet by the DFL this cycle. It was the second most narrow loss they suffered in 2016. Very much in play.
Ostermeier says it's a third candidate on the ballot, Jared Partlow of the Legal Marijuana Now Party that may determine the outcome.
Partlow who has been charged by some within the DFL and former Legal Marijuana Now party chairs to be a Republican plant. A charge that has been disavowed by some Republican officials.
Relph won the race four years ago by just 141 votes, in an election that saw a Libertarian candidate get five percent of the votes.
Ostermeier says in Senate District 14 Democrats have won 11 of the last 14 races for statewide office, and for that reason, he's giving the Democrat a slight lean in the race, unless Donald Trump can over-perform in the district.
Right now Republicans hold a 35 to 32 advantage in the Senate. Ostermeier is predicting Democrats will take back the Senate and keep control of the House.