Minnesota Democrats and Republicans have chosen their favorites in the wide-open race for governor.
Among Democrats, Rep. Tim Walz was leading and expected to win the preference poll among voters conducted at Tuesday’s precinct caucuses as results still were being counted early Wednesday.
At the Redwood Falls Democratic caucuses, Walz cruised to a victory with 22 votes. with Erin Murphy receiving 10 votes, Chris Coleman five votes, Rebecca Otto three votes, and Tina Liebling one vote.
And 2014 GOP nominee Jeff Johnson cruised to a commanding victory among Republicans statewide with more than 45 percent of the vote. In Redwood Falls, Keith Downey came in first place with four votes, with Jeff Johnson second with two, Lance Johnson third with one vote, and three for undecided.
According to Mary Gale Bratsch, in the countywide straw vote for Republican governor candidate, undecided tied with Jeff Johnson, with “quite a few” write-in votes for former governor Tim Pawlenty.
The straw poll testing of gubernatorial candidates’ support was the main event of Tuesday’s precinct caucuses, the first chance for voters to get involved in a busy 2018 campaign season. But the results of such polls are rarely indicative of which candidates will win the nomination.
Early results also showed a large number of undecided voters in both parties.
(This story includes additional material from Southern Minnesota News.)