Koenen Wins Special Election to Fill Kubly Senate Seat 11 Apr 12

DFL Representative Lyle Koenen of Clara City will be moving from the House to the Senate for the remainder of the year after winning a three-way race Tuesday for the Senate District 20 seat.

He defeated Gregg Kulberg, a Republican from Hector, and Leon Greenslit, a member of the Independence Party from Olivia.

Koenen garnered 54 percent of the votes cast.

In unofficial results posted by the Secretary of State’s office, Koenen received 3,914 votes; Kulberg had 2,912 and Greenslit had 364. There were two write-in votes cast.

Once the election returns are certified by the state canvassing board, Koenen will fill the seat that had been held by the late Sen. Gary Kubly. The longtime DFL legislator died last month. He had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2010.

The state canvassing board will certify the election results on Friday in St. Paul, but Koenen won’t take office until April 17th, according to Patricia K. Turgeon, assistant communications director for the Secretary of State’s office.

The Legislature reconvenes April 16th following a weeklong break.

Turgeon, in an earlier interview, said there will not be an election to fill Koenen’s House seat because the legislative session is expected to adjourn before an election could be held.

Senate District 20 encompasses Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Renville, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties.