United States House of Representatives elections in Minnesota, 2006

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Map of Minnesota showing all eight districts

The 2006 congressional elections in Minnesota were held on November 7, 2006 to determine who would represent the state of Minnesota in the United States House of Representatives.

Minnesota had nine seats in the House, apportioned according to the 2000 United States Census. Representatives are elected for two-year terms; those elected served in the 110th Congress from January 3, 2007 until January 3, 2009. The election coincided with the Senate election and the gubernatorial election.


United States House of Representatives elections in Minnesota, 2006[1]
Party Votes Percentage Seats +/–
Democratic 1,152,621 52.90% 5 +1
Republican 924,636 42.43% 3 -1
Independents 101,717 4.67% 0
Totals 2,178,974 100.00% 8

District 1[edit]

MN Congressional District 1.gif

In his bid for a seventh term in Congress, incumbent Republican Congressman Gil Gutknecht faced off against Tim Walz, a high school teacher and the DFL nominee in this swing district based in southern Minnesota. Walz upset Gutknecht by a margin of 5.6%.

Minnesota's 1st congressional district election, 2006[1][1]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Tim Walz 141,556 52.74
Republican Gil Gutknecht (inc.) 126,486 47.12
Write-ins 379 0.14
Total votes 268,421 100.00
DFL gain from Republican

District 2[edit]

MN02 109.png

Incumbent Republican Congressman John Kline ran for a third term in this conservative district based in the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities. Kline was opposed in the general election by Coleen Rowley, the DFL nominee and a former FBI agent, whom he defeated by a comfortable margin.

Minnesota's 2nd congressional district election, 2006[1][1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Kline (inc.) 163,269 56.20
DFL Coleen Rowley 116,343 40.04
Independence Douglas Williams 10,802 3.72
Write-ins 126 0.04
Total votes 290,540 100.00
Republican hold

District 3[edit]


Incumbent Republican Congressman Jim Ramstad ran for what would be his ninth and final term in the United States Congress from this conservative district that encompassed the northern, western, and southern suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul in Hennepin County and Anoka County. Ramstad was opposed in his bid for reelection by the DFL nominee, local radio host Wendy Wilde, and he won overwhelmingly.

Minnesota's 3rd congressional district election, 2006[1][1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jim Ramstad (inc.) 184,333 64.85
DFL Wendy Wilde 99,588 35.04
Write-ins 323 0.11
Total votes 284,244 100.00
Republican hold

District 4[edit]


In this staunchly liberal district comprising St. Paul and some northern suburbs, incumbent DFL Representative Betty McCollum ran for a fourth term, opposed by Republican Obi Sium, an employee of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. McCollum was in no danger of losing her seat, and won reelection with nearly 70% of the vote.

Minnesota's 4th congressional district election, 2006[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Betty McCollum (inc.) 172,096 69.54
Republican Obi Sium 74,797 30.23
Write-ins 573 0.23
Total votes 247,466 100.00
DFL hold

District 5[edit]

United States House of Representatives, Minnesota District 5 map.png

Rather than seek a 15th term in Congress, incumbent DFL Congressman Martin Olav Sabo decided to retire, creating an open seat. State Representative Keith Ellison beat out Mike Erlandson, Slabo's chief of staff; Ember Reichgott Junge, a former state senator; and Paul Ostrow, a Minneapolis City Councilman in the DFL primary. In the general election, Ellison faced off against businessman Alan Fine, the Republican nominee, and Tammy Lee, the Independence Party nominee, who had served as press secretary for United States Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and communications director for Skip Humphrey's 1998 gubernatorial campaign. The district, based in Minneapolis and some suburbs located in Anoka County and Ramsey County, strongly supported DFL candidates, so Ellison was highly favored in the general election. Indeed, despite a surprisingly strong performance by Lee, Ellison emerged victorious, and became the first African-American Congressman from Minnesota and the first Muslim in Congress.

Minnesota's 5th congressional district election, 2006[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Keith Ellison 136,060 55.56
Republican Alan Fine 52,263 21.34
Independence Tammy Lee 51,456 21.01
Green Jay Pond 4,792 1.96
Write-ins 334 0.14
Total votes 244,905 100.00
DFL hold

District 6[edit]

MN06 109.png

Incumbent Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy declined to seek a fourth term in Congress, instead opting to run for Senate in the wake of then-Senator Mark Dayton's retirement. To replace him in this conservative-leaning district that encompassed the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities, including St. Cloud, State Senator Michele Bachmann clinched the Republican nomination, while Patty Wetterling, a national advocate of children's safety and Kennedy's 2004 opponent, emerged as the DFL nominee once again. They were joined by Minnesota Independence Party candidate John Paul Binkowski. During the campaign, Wetterling attacked Bachmann for voting against increased restrictions on sex offenders, while Bachmann accused Wetterling of wanting to negotiate with terrorists, charges each denied.[2] Despite polling that indicated that the race would be close, and although this was the most expensive House race in Minnesota,[3] Bachmann defeated Wetterling by a large margin, with Binkowski receiving about 8%.

Minnesota's 6th congressional district election, 2006[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Michele Bachmann 151,248 50.05
DFL Patty Wetterling 127,144 42.07
Independence John Paul Binkowski 23,557 7.80
Write-ins 239 0.08
Total votes 302,188 100.00
Republican hold

District 7[edit]

Mn07 108.jpg

This conservative, rural district based in western Minnesota had been represented by DFL Congressman Collin Peterson since 1991, and this year, Peterson sought a ninth term in Congress. Despite the district's tendency to vote for Republicans at the national level, Peterson had been able to hold on to his seat with ease, and this year proved no different. Opposed by pharmacist Michael J. Barrett, the Republican nominee, and a few independent politicians, Peterson overwhelmingly won reelection with close to 70% of the vote.

Minnesota's 7th congressional district election, 2006[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Collin Peterson (inc.) 179,164 69.66
Republican Michael J. Barrett 74,557 28.99
Constitution Ken Lucier 3,303 1.28
Write-ins 170 0.07
Total votes 257,194 100.00
DFL hold

District 8[edit]

United States House of Representatives, Minnesota District 8 map.gif

This liberal-leaning district, based in the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota, had been represented since 1975 by DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar, the state's longest-serving Congressman. This year, he sought a 17th term and faced former United States Senator Rod Grams, who lived outside the district and had represented the 6th district in Congress twelve years earlier. Despite Grams's high stature and name recognition, he posed no serious threat to Oberstar, who was reelected in a landslide.

Minnesota's 8th congressional district election, 2006[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Jim Oberstar (inc.) 180,670 63.61
Republican Rod Grams 97,683 34.39
Unity Harry Welty 5,508 1.94
Write-ins 155 0.05
Total votes 284,016 100.00
DFL hold