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Hoffman defeats Skogen for senate seat

Gretchen Hoffman has defeated Dan Skogen for the District 10 Minnesota Senate seat.

While votes remained to be counted as of 3 a.m. Wednesday, the likelihood of Skogen getting enough Wadena County votes to make up for a deficit of more than 3,000 in Otter Tail County was slim.

"Well, I'm disappointed," the Hewitt DFLer said shortly after midnight when the outcome became clear. "I really put my heart and soul into this job the last four years."

Skogen was swept into the Senate on a wave of DFL wins four years ago. On Tuesday night, he was swept out by a GOP wave. He said about half of the 16 freshmen senators he entered the Legislature with also lost.

"People weren't happy with the way things were going," Skogen said about the mood of the electorate. "That may have been the message -- 'we're not pleased.'"

Skogen said he thought the DFL was putting into place policies that would steer the state back in a good direction, but he said voters were anxious and not happy with the direction of the state.

Though he didn't rule it out, Skogen said early Wednesday he had no plans to run again for office.

Senator-elect Hoffman couldn't be reached because of the late hour of the vote count.