Polls have been closed for roughly an hour in both Minnesota and northwest Iowa and ballots are busily being counted.
In Minnesota, statewide races include governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state auditor. With just 1.34 % of votes counted, incumbent Minnesota DFL Gov. Tim Walz was trailing Republican challenger Scott Jensen by a 73% to 25% margin. In the other races, Republicans were ahead by similar margins in the early going. DFLer Keith Ellison and GOP candidate Jim Schultz are vying for the office of attorney general. The current secretary of state, Democrat Steve Simon, is up against Republican Kim Crockett. State Auditor Juile Blaha of the DFL is being challenged Republican Ryan Wilson.
In southwest Minnesota, voters also made choices for offices that include Minnesota House representatives in District 21A and District 21B and the District 1 U.S. House of Representatives seat. The region's state senator, Bill Weber, is running unopposed.
In District 21B, it was Republican Marj Folgeman against Democrat Michael Heidelberger; no votes are in yet there. In District 21A, 37 of 127 precincts are in, and incumbent GOP Rep. Joe Schomacker leads DFLer Pat Baustian with 78.6% of the vote thus far.
In the U.,S. House race between Republican Brad Finstad and Jeff Ettinger, it was Finstad with 74 percent of the vote with 20 of 749 precincts reporting.
In Iowa, voters were choosing their preferred candidates in many of the same statewide races. Also up for election were one of the state's two seats in the U.S. Senate and the state's District 4 seat in the U.S. House. State Sen. Dave Rowley is running unopposed. In the U,S, Senate race, Democrat Michael Franken leads longtime incumbent Charles Grassley by around 50,000 votes with 263,000 votes tallied.
Among the races being watched locally is a three-way contest for Worthington mayor between Chad Cummings, Rod Sankey and Rick von Holdt. There's also a three-person race for a Ward 2 Worthington City Council seat between Alaina Kolpin, Nathalie Tshioko Nkashama and America Voss and a two-person matchup for a Ward 1 council seat that includes Cristina Adame and Larry Janssen. No results are available for those matchups as of yet.
Four candidates -- incumbents Adam Blume and Lori Dudley, along with "Butch" Fletcher and Erin Schutte -- are running for three spots on the Worthington ISD 518 Board of Education. No results yet for any of those races, either.
Each of the candidates for Nobles County offices are running unopposed.
Additionally, multiple other races are ongoing in the communities that are part of our region. We'll post updates throughout the evening -- be sure to check back here and listen to regular election updates on our Radio Works stations.