Sen. Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis, was re-elected to her Minnesota Senate seat in District 60, beating Legal Marijuana Now candidate Marty Super by about 22,700 votes.
Dziedzic was first elected to the Senate in January 2012 in a special election and was re-elected in November 2012.
Minnesota Senate District 60 includes the University of Minnesota and the surrounding area.
Dziedzic, a University of Minnesota graduate, campaigned to lower student debt and make higher education more affordable as well as for environmental protections and criminal justice reform.
“I have said before that my concern is the student loan … I think we have the fifth highest average in the country in graduating students … with debt,” she told the Daily before the election.
Kathy Beattie, 26, of Minneapolis, said at the DFL election party at the Minneapolis Hilton that she voted for Dziedzic because she wants the state Senate to prioritize higher education more.
“Some of my friends who are still in school are really struggling. I really have faith in Senator Dziedzic that she’ll help students out,” Bettie said. “She’s done a lot, and I think she can do a lot more.”
District 60 represents a large Somali population, including the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Dziedzic said she works hard to accommodate the area with her policies, which include a bill passed in 2013 that granted $330,000 to the Brian Coyle Center.
“We’re proud of our Somali community here, and I’m proud of Senator Dziedzic for supporting them like she has,” said Sheryl Hansen, 43, of Minneapolis at the Minneapolis Hilton DFL election party.
Opponent Marty Super advocated single-payer health care, marijuana legalization and a $15 per hour minimum wage. He captured almost 22 percent of the district’s vote to Dziedzic’s 77 percent.