MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Democratic Sen. Tina Smith is projected to win the seat for the U.S. Senate yet again, defeating GOP challenger Jason Lewis, according to the Associated Press.
Smith has held the seat since 2018; she was first appointed to the position after former Sen. Al Franken resigned due to allegations of sexual harassment. She then beat Republican Karin Housley in the special election that November. Before taking on the role of senator, Smith served as the state’s lieutenant governor for Gov. Mark Dayton.
Jason Lewis talking with reporters, admitting there’s little chance he can make up the 7pt deficit in the race for US Senate in MN. He didn’t directly call it a concession speech, but said he put up a good fight and his political career might be over after this. @WCCO pic.twitter.com/B22vICgBmh
— Jeff Wagner (@Jeff_Wagner4) November 4, 2020
Lewis, on the other hand, served as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District between 2017 and 2019, when he was defeated by Democrat Angie Craig. The former radio talk show host was an ardent supporter of President Trump.
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While Lewis was Smith’s main competitor for the seat, she also faced two other opponents: Kevin O’Connor from the Legal Marijuana Now party and Oliver Steinberg from Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis.
In recent months, Smith has said she wants to see more relief bill to support small businesses, schools, and the unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also supports the legalization of recreational marijuana, and improving the Affordable Care Act. Lewis, on the other hand, has supported President Trump’s opposition to COVID-19 restrictions and emphasized “law and order.”
Smith had the advantage of funds throughout the race, and was favored to win over Lewis.
In a statement released early Wednesday morning, Smith said, “Even in the midst of the great division and great challenges of this past year, I’ve always felt that Minnesotans at heart believe that we are better together. Tonight, you have shown that you want to work together and make progress.”