Wadena County: solidly in the red column
The 2010 general elections have been called a "Republican wave," and Wadena County was no exception to the trend.
Republican Chip Cravaack took 3,020 votes (55.97 percent) in the county to longtime Democrat incumbent James Oberstar's 2,049 votes (37.97 percent) in the U.S. House of Representatives race. The 8th District upset was much narrower in the rest of northeast Minnesota.
While the statewide governor's race put DFL candidate Mark Dayton at a hair-thin deadlock lead over Republican Tom Emmer, the latter was preferred in Wadena County, with 2,906 votes (53.68 percent) to Dayton's 1,922 (35.50 percent). Independence candidate Tom Horner took 517 votes (9.55 percent), a similar percentage to the statewide trend.
Republican Mark Murdock of Ottertail maintained his District 10B state representative seat in a landslide, receiving 3,377 (63.22 percent) Wadena County votes over Democrat challenger Pete Phillips of Wadena, who got 1,960 votes (36.69 percent). District 10B, which includes part of Otter Tail County and part of Becker County, had similar percentages overall.
State Senator Dan Skogen, DFL-Hewitt, bucked the Republican trend by a narrow margin, receiving 2,786 (51.49 percent) county votes to Vergas challenger Gretchen Hoffman's 2,622 (48.46 percent). However, District 10, which also includes Otter Tail County and part of Becker County, gave the overall win to Hoffman 54.79 percent to 45.12 percent.
Republican Patricia "Pat" Anderson took 3,070 (58.20 percent) Wadena County votes, trailed by Democrat Rebecca Otto with 1,977 (37.48 percent). However, Otto narrowly retained her incumbency in the overall contest for state auditor.
Republican Chris Barden campaigned in the city of Wadena, and the county preferred him 2,709 (51.44 percent) to DFL incumbent Lori Swanson with 2,231 (42.37 percent). Swanson, however, took the statewide win and will continue in office.
In the Secretary of State race, Wadena County favored Republican Dan Severson with 2,926 (55.43 percent) votes to Democrat Mark Ritchie with 2,025 (38.36 percent) votes. However, the incumbent won in the statewide race, and Ritchie's face will still be on the Secretary of State election results website for at least the next four years.