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Magnus poised to win Senate seat

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Jayne Johnson is handed her ballot by Ward 2, Precinct 1 election official Elaine Schuster while voting Tuesday afternoon at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- As election results began to trickle in Tuesday evening, Republican Doug Magnus jumped ahead early in the Minnesota Senate District 22 race, holding steady at a 60 40 percent lead over DFLer Kevin Vickerman throughout much of the night.

"That's what we've been seeing," Magnus said, adding he had been keeping an eye on the results off and on since the polls had closed at 8 p.m.

Complications with the Minnesota Secretary of State website slowed down results considerably, and a report that Hennepin Countyresults may contain an error came out after 10 p.m., but Magnus said he was feeling pretty good when he saw the numbers around midnight.

"The Nobles County vote is in and it went pretty handily," Magnus, of Slayton, stated. "Some of Murray County is in, and most of Pipestone is in. I'm feeling pretty confident when I watch the numbers for the present. I know these precincts pretty well and know the numbers from the past. It looks pretty good for us."

By 1 a.m., Magnus was ahead of Vickerman by approximately 3,000 votes, with 43 precincts yet to report, according to the secretary of state website.

"There have been some interesting races statewide, though it is too early to comment on a lot of them," Magnus had said at midnight. "There is a lot of change out there. People are disturbed about the direction we're going in the last couple of years and they're sending a message."

In the House District 22A race, with 66 of 99 precincts reporting as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Republican Joe Schomacker of Luverne was maintaining his lead over Democratic challenger Ted Winter of Fulda for the Minnesota District 22A House of Representatives seat.

Schomacker held the lead with 5,164 votes to Winter's 4,280 votes in a district that has been served by Magnus for the past eight years.

A newcomer to the political arena, Schomacker campaigned on four key issues, including jobs, government spending, taxes and education. The Luverne High school graduate earned degrees in public administration, speech communication and political science from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. While there, he served as student body president. Schomacker went on to earn his Masters in professional studies from George Washington University.

Schomacker could not be reached for comment early Wednesday morning.

In the District 22B House race, incumbent Rod Hamilton, a Republican, had a strong lead over Democratic challenger Bill Brandt of Lakefield. With 52 of 74 precincts reporting, Hamilton had the lead with 6,786 votes to Brandt's 2,881.

Hamilton, of Mountain Lake, was elected to the House seat for the first time in 2004. He serves as vice chair of the agriculture, rural economies and veterans affairs finance division, and is the lead GOP member on that committee, as well as the early childhood finance and policy division, environment and natural resources finance division and the ways and means committee.

Hamilton also could not be reached for comment early this morning.