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Dave Olson, Published November 03 2010

UPDATED: Marquart pulls away to easily win House District 9B

Incumbent Paul Marquart beat challenger Benjamin Grimsley in what appeared to be a tight race late Tuesday for the Minnesota House District 9B seat.

However, results early Wednesday showed Marquart winning 62 percent of the vote while Grimsley garnered 38 percent in a complete but unofficial count of all 88 precincts.

At 11:30 p.m., just 16 of 88 precincts had reported, with Marquart holding a narrow margin. Once the remaining precincts had been counted, Marquart pulled away to easily capture his sixth term in the House.

Marquart, a Democrat, is a Dilworth teacher. He collected 8,877 votes.

Grimsley, a Republican from Detroit Lakes, is self-employed in the insurance and financial services field. He received 5,463 votes.

During his campaign, Grimsley made a point of stating he was not a career politician and didn’t plan to make politics a career.

Marquart said during his campaign that people were concerned about funding for area schools and the high cost of health care.

He said another theme that emerged was that district residents wanted Democrats and Republicans to work together to get things done.

Marquart said passing a bonding bill would be a way to put people back to work and now is the time to do it because interest rates are low.

Grimsley said he heard from people who were struggling economically and who were tired of “typical party politics” and officials who refused to make controversial decisions that would bring crucial change.

The two-year house seat carries a salary of $31,140 a year.

The district covers southeast Clay County and Wilkin and Traverse counties, as well as part of Becker County and the city of Detroit Lakes.

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