State sets February special election for departing senator

Published 10:18 am Friday, October 16, 2015

ST. PAUL — The state will hold a special election Feb. 9 to replace a state senator leaving office.

Republican Sen. Branden Petersen announced last month he would step down this fall from his district covering northern Minneapolis suburbs. Petersen had previously indicated he wouldn’t run for re-election in 2016 but sped up his exit.

Five Republicans are already vying for the party’s nomination to run for Petersen’s seat but no Democrats have formally launched bids. Secretary of State Steve Simon also laid out plans Friday for a Jan. 12 primary.

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The winter special election ensures Petersen’s replacement will be in place before lawmakers return in early March.