Feb 12, 2013 at 11:12 pm
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) - Election results are in, and Republican Tama Theis has won the race for Minnesota's vacant House District 14A representative seat.
Initial results following the closing of the polls showed the GOP nominee with a strong initial lead over fellow candidates, DFLer Joanne Dorsher and Independence party candidate Todd McKee.
Theis maintained her lead, clinching the election with 55 percent of the vote.
An emotional Theis, posted up at her campaign's headquaters in the Germain Business Center, said the success of her campaign, which began hours after representative elect Steve Gottwalt's resignation, has focused squarely on small business issues. She says her victory is the product of a team effort.
"It has been an awesome ride," Theis says. "It's been the work of a village, and I couldn't have done it without any one of these guys."
Theis has never held a legislative position before. She has been living and running her remodeling business, Theis Remodeling, in the St. Cloud area for almost 30 years. She's based her campaign on a platform of fiscal conservativism, smaller government, and less taxation and regulation for small businesses.
She says the opportunity to run for the vacant house seat was one she couldn't pass up, and election day is a day she'll remember for the rest of her life.
"One of the coolest experiences ever. It's a moment a person remembers forever. Absolutely."
Theis says, moving forward, she's aiming to serve on house committees related to budget and finance topics.
Theis received 55% of the vote. DFL challenger Joanne Dorsher earned 43%, and Independence Party candidate Todd McKee of Waite Park came in at 3%.
Temp: 3°F (-16°C)
Wind: 20 N