Shakopee voting

Updated at 12:38 p.m. Wednesday. 

Preliminary primary election results show Minnesota House District 55A candidate Erik Mortensen, a Republican, will face off against incumbent Rep. Brad Tabke, DFL-Shakopee, come November. 

Mortensen received 1,664 votes Tuesday, or 55.08% of the Republican vote, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's unofficial election results.

Candidate Bob Loonan, also a Republican, received 1,357 votes, or 44.92% of the Republican vote. Ryan Martin with Legal Marijuana Now received 36 votes. 

Tabke received 1,969 votes.

The results won’t be finalized until Thursday, when the rest of the absentee ballots are counted. But the preliminary tally likely represents the bulk of the votes the county will receive, according to Scott County Elections Administrator Julie Hanson.

Shakopee’s primary is the culmination of a contentious race between Minnesota House District 55A candidates Loonan and Mortensen — neither of whom have been endorsed by the Scott County GOP.

Tabke congratulated Mortensen for the primary win on Twitter Tuesday night. "Our campaign looks forward to the upcoming debate focused on our shared values and giving Shakopee residents a clear choice on who they want representing them in Saint Paul," he tweeted.

In a Wednesday morning press release, Mortensen called Tabke "the poster child for an anti-business representative," citing Tabke's support of Walz's policies to shut down businesses due to COVID-19.  

"Brad is bad for people’s financial well being," Mortensen wrote. 

This won't be the first time Mortensen and Tabke have faced off. Tabke defeated Mortensen in the 2018 election. 

Absentee ballots

Localities could choose to report preliminary results to the Secretary of State's Office, or wait until all ballots are counted Thursday.

Scott County — with the help of their vendor — made arrangements to report preliminary results.

By around 5 p.m. on Monday, the county had received 6,632 returned absentee ballots out of the 11,444 sent to voters.

Typically around 22% of local residents vote in the primary, Hanson said, adding the work of nonprofit organizations might've led to ballots being sent to voters who didn't intend to vote in the primary election.

That's because most organizations doing absentee ballot drives pre-check the box to request both a primary and general election ballot for voters.

"It's just a theory," Hanson said.

Shakopee voters

“You couldn’t live in this town without knowing about that race,” Kent Robbins, an election judge at Shakopee’s first precinct who is also the chair of the Shakopee Planning Commission, said.

Shakopee resident Warren Reed walked into the town's first precinct polling place around 11:30 a.m. Aug. 11 wearing a red bandana as a mask. He said he was voting for Bob Loonan as he whisked into the building. Another resident walked in a few seconds after Reed and said she was voting for Mortensen.

“I just like what he stands for,” she said.

Robbins said he was surprised by the number of people who came to vote, given the pandemic.

"I don't think any of us expected the number of people we're getting for this," he said.

Reporter Christine Schuster contributed to this report.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.

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