11:15 p.m. update: McNamara, Bayers square off in House District 54BState Rep. Denny McNamara had an edge over his Democratic challenger in early returns Tuesday.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
State Rep. Denny McNamara had an edge over his Democratic challenger in early returns Tuesday.
McNamara, R-Hastings, had a 56-43 percent advantage over DFLer Joanna Bayers with eight of 19 House District 54B precincts reporting. McNamara had 3,712 votes to Bayers’ 2,895.
McNamara has served five terms in the Minnesota House. With Republicans in control of that chamber for the past two years, McNamara has served as chairman of a House environment and natural resources committee.
Bayers, also of Hastings, was waging her first legislative campaign, though she has been involved in politics for years, mostly in northeastern Minnesota. Bayers is a Minnesota Department of Revenue employee.
McNamara heavily outraised and outspent Bayers in the campaign.
McNamara and Bayers were competing to represent a House district that includes part of Cottage Grove, Afton, Denmark Township, Hastings and Nininger Township.