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Murdock cruises to victory in House 10B race, GOP in control

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Tuesday was a great night for Rep. Mark Murdock, R-Ottertail, for a few reasons.

Not only did he easily win re-election over challenger Pete Phillips, DFL-Wadena, his party not only swept into power in the Minnesota House, but in the Senate, where they haven't had the gavel since 1972.

Murdock beat Phillips 10,371 votes to 5,258, a nearly 2-to-1 ratio. The early vote totals showed Murdock was winning easily.

Then other results filtered in, and the Minnesota House went back to the GOP.

"I didn't expect we'd get 26 seats back," Murdock said. "Twenty-six was the goal, but to actually do it -- wow."

The news improved again when Murdock learned the GOP would also take back the Senate.

"To get the Senate back was beyond my wildest dreams," he said. "We haven't had it since 1972."

Murdock said being in the majority again lets the GOP set the agenda for the state.

"We go from pushing the car to driving the car," he explained.

Murdock said he hopes the GOP treats the DFL better than the DFL has treated the GOP in recent years during its reign.

"We need to listen to each others' ideas," he said.

Murdock said the GOP has a majority, but not a veto-proof one. Should DFLer Mark Dayton be declared the winner of the governor's race, there will need to be compromise, or there will be gridlock.

Murdock wished his opponent well.

"Pete's a good guy," he said. "If I had a tree down in my yard, I bet Pete would be there to help me. And if he had a tree down in his yard, I'd be happy to help him."

Phillips, a former Wadena city councilman, echoed the comments.

"We ran a good race and would not change a thing," Phillips said. "Mark Murdock ran a good race too and I wish him well."