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Voters send Garofalo back to Minnesota House

Early on, the lead bounced back and forth between incumbent Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) and Bev Topp (D-Farmington) for the Minnesota State House 36B seat. But in the end, Garofalo reclaimed his seat with a count of 13,445 votes to Topp's 10,370.

Though early results Tuesday kept things close, Garofalo said he remained optimistic while watching the totals come in during an election party at the Farmington American Legion. Throughout his campaign, he had received a lot of support from residents while he was out door knocking. Apparently, it paid off.

"I'm honored by the large margin of victory and being given the opportunity to serve another two years," he said later Tuesday. "I can't thank the voters enough."

Garofalo had "the largest victory party we ever had," he said, but that did not distract him from setting early goals for his next term. His priority? Balancing the state's struggling budget, and working to do so with all of the state's elected officials.

"The big thing is to balance the budget," he said. "This is too big of a problem for one party to solve itself. We have to work together."