BEMIDJI — Rod Skoe will enter his 11th year in the Minnesota Senate after holding off challenger Dennis Moser for the second time in the District 2 race between the two Clearbrook men.
In unofficial results, Skoe won the race with 54.9 percent of the votes to Moser’s 45 percent. Vote totals were 21,269 for Skoe and 17,423 for Moser.
Skoe said he felt comfortable when the Becker County results came in.
“I felt pretty comfortable that I was going to be fine,” he said. “Beltrami County (whose results were not yet in at the time) has always been my strongest county.”
He stayed up until after midnight, though, until he learned that the Democrats had taken the Senate majority.
“I’m looking forward to solving the state’s budget and getting this deficit under control and moving Minnesota forward,” Skoe said. “That’s what I campaigned on and that’s what I intend to do.”
He said putting the voter ID amendment on the ballot was “overreaching” and hurt Republicans in the polls.
Claims of a billion-dollar surplus for the state also hurt Republicans, he said.
“I don’t think the public believed the claim that the state has a billion-dollar surplus, because we don’t,” he said. “I think if you have a major campaign theme, it has to be believable.”
Skoe said he had great support in his campaign, “all the Democrats in the area, basically, and anybody willing to put up a sign and make a phone call. We had a good “get out the vote” effort run out of our Beltrami DFL office. I think it helped this year.”
Moser said he did everything he could do in the race.
“I just think that there was a lot of negative information put out, a lot of lies that were put out about things that took place last year in the Legislature,” he said, adding that he was disturbed by negative campaigning in other election.
“It’s just one of those things. If you don’t roll with the punches, you don’t belong in the game.”
The marriage and Voter ID amendments drew outside money in opposition of the amendments, he said, which did a lot of damage to conservative candidates, he said.
Moser said he appreciated the support he got in his campaign and the election.
“I appreciate the fact that my opponent did not use any dirty campaigning at all,” he said. “We were both positive and we talked about issues instead of personal attacks.”
“I’ve always worked to get along with the candidate,” Skoe said. “I just feel ... you don’t have to agree, but you don’t have to be disagreeable.”