BEMIDJI -- Minnesota Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, defeated primary challenger Lavern "Pedie" Pederson in the race Tuesday evening.
Persell won with 85 percent to 15 percent with all 70 precincts reporting.
Persell has held the seat in what is now District 5A since 2008, having been re-elected twice. Pederson previously ran for state office in 2012, when he lost to state Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids, in the DFL primary. He also has run for Bemidji city and school board positions.
Phillip Nelson of Bemidji is the Republican candidate in the district.