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Garofalo wins big in Minnesota House re-election bid

Pat Garofalo won his fourth term in the Minnesota House of Representatives going away.

Garofalo, a Republican, received nearly twice as many votes as DFL challenger Sigrid Iversen, 12,317 to 6,381. The win provided one familiar face in a sea of change on election night.

Garofalo, a Farmington resident who won his first election to take a vacant seat six years ago, was in front from the beginning of Tuesday's vote count. He called the large margin humbling and said it is a reflection of the work he has done so far at the capitol.

"I think that the biggest reason is because I fight for what I believe in, but I do work with the other side of the aisle and people respect that," Garofalo said.

Iversen, a first-time candidate from Lakeville, was upbeat about the election. She said she was in a win-win situation -- though she didn't win the election, she said, she still gets to teach and work with children.

"That's what our campaign was all about," she said.

Actually, Iversen seemed more concerned Tuesday about some failed school levies -- including one in Independent School District 196, where she teaches -- than she did about her own race. She called this election just the first part of an ongoing saga, and said, as things stand now, she hopes to be back in two years for another run.

"That's absolutely the plan," she said. "We've learned a lot. There are so many things I think we did accomplish."

For Garofalo, the win means some busy and challenging times ahead of him. The state is facing a potential $6 billion budget deficit, and there are a number of other issues to address.

Garofalo made a call for term limits a major issue in his campaign this time around, but he would not say Tuesday night whether that meant this will be his final term.

"That will be something that I'll announce later on," Garofalo said. "Now is a night to celebrate."

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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