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Dave Olson, Published November 03 2010

UPDATED: Lanning cruises to fifth term in Minnesota House

In complete but unofficial vote totals Tuesday night, Morrie Lanning sewed up a victory over challenger Greg Lemke in the race for the Minnesota House District 9A seat.

With all 26 precincts reporting, Lanning collected 60 percent of the vote to Lemke's had 40 percent.

Lanning had 8,083 votes, while Lemke had 5,356 votes.

Lanning, a Republican and a former mayor of Moorhead, was first elected to the House in 2002.

He won a fifth term during Tuesday's election.

Lemke, a Democrat, is a member of the Moorhead City Council.

Lanning said the early count was encouraging, and he said he felt the same way about the response he received on the campaign trail.

“There was a lot of support,” Lanning said late Tuesday as he waited for final vote totals.

During his campaign, Lemke said residents told him they were concerned about the state budget and education.

He said the way to spark economic activity was to offer tax credits to small businesses.

Lemke also advocated passing a bonding bill that would create jobs.

During his campaign, Lanning said people told him they were concerned about budget deficits, higher taxes, flood control and funding for education.

Lanning said education funding should be the top priority for the state. He said poverty was one issue not getting enough attention.

Lanning said during his campaign that Minnesota has accomplished much in recent years, despite the difficult economy.

Lemke said voters told him they felt it was time “for a change in our representation at the state level.”

The legislative seat pays $31,140 a year.

The office carries a two-year term.

House District 9A includes the city of Moorhead and much of northern Clay County.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555