Minnesota gubernatorial election, 1994

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Minnesota gubernatorial election, 1994
1990 ←
November 8, 1994
→ 1998

Nominee Arne Carlson John Marty
Party Independent-Republican DFL
Running mate Joanne Benson Nancy Larson
Popular vote 1,094,165 589,344
Percentage 63.34% 34.12%

Minnesota Governor 1994.png

County Results

Governor before election

Arne Carlson

Elected Governor

Arne Carlson

The 1994 Minnesota gubernatorial election took place on November 8, 1994. Republican Party of Minnesota candidate Arne Carlson defeated Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party challenger John Marty.


Source Date Carlson (R) Marty (D)
St. Paul Pioneer Press Oct. 2, 1994 54% 29%


1994 Gubernatorial Election, Minnesota
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent-Republican Arne Carlson 1,094,165 63.34% +13.24%
DFL John Marty 589,344 34.12% -12.65%
Grassroots Will Shetterly 20,785 1.20% +0.24%
Libertarian Eric Olson 15,467 0.90% n/a
Nutritional Rights Leslie Davis 4,611 0.27% n/a
Socialist Workers Jon Hillson 3,022 0.17% n/a
Majority 504,821 29.22%
Turnout 1,727,394
Independent-Republican hold Swing


General election[edit]

  • Arne Carlson (R) - Incumbent Governor, former State Auditor. Failed to earn his party's endorsement, but won the right to be on the ballot after winning in the primary.
  • John Marty (DFL) - Minnesota State Senator and son of theologian Martin Marty. Won his party's endorsement, and won a narrow victory in his state primary.
  • Will Shetterly (Grassroots) - Fantasy and comic book writer. Won his party's endorsement.
  • Eric Olson (L)
  • Leslie Davis (Nutritional Rights) - Perennial candidate and local activist.
  • John Hillson (SWP)

Former candidates[edit]

  • Allen Quist (R) - Staunchly conservative former State Representative, Quist won the endorsement of the Republican Party over incumbent Carlson, who was seen as too liberal. Ran with Hamline University professor Doug McFarland. Lost in the primary election.

Election campaign[edit]

Endorsement and primary[edit]

While incumbent Gov. Arne Carlson was popular in the state, he was not popular with rank-and-file Republicans, who viewed his victory in 1990 as an accident. Carlson, who was pro-choice and in favor of extending civil rights to homosexuals, was seen as too moderate by delegates to the GOP state convention, who ultimately chose former State Rep. Allen Quist, a staunch conservative, as their nominee. Ultimately, though, Carlson easily defeated Quist in the state primary, putting him on the ballot for November.

At the DFL convention, Marty received the party endorsement, but faced a strong challenge from former Minneapolis Chief of Police Tony Bouza. Bouza faded, however, when it was revealed that he supported severe restrictions on handguns. Marty ultimately won a narrow victory in the primary over former Commerce Commissioner Mike Hatch, who lost his second consecutive gubernatorial primary.

General election[edit]

After the primary, the general election was anticlimactic. With Carlson generally liked by most Minnesotans and with a national Republican wave cresting, he easily won victory over Marty, who ran a steadfast, positive, and ultimately futile campaign. Marty lost by over 400,000 votes out of 1.7 million cast, a historic landslide defeat.[1]

External links[edit]