FAIRMONT - Incumbents state lawmakers Julie Rosen and Bob Gunther held on to their seats Tuesday, though the latter race was the tightest for Gunther since he was first elected to office 17 years ago.
Gunther, R-Fairmont, was challenged by Democratic newcomer Kevin Labenz of Welcome in District 23A.
Rosen, R-Fairmont, faced competition from DFLer Paul Marquardt of Eagle Lake in District 23.
In the House race, Gunther captured 6,027 votes - 56 percent - while 4,749, - 44 percent, voted for Labenz.
"I think it was a good race," said Gunther. "I think it was a good opponent who worked hard. The results came in about were I thought they would."
The results were bittersweet for Labenz.
"We congratulate Mr. Gunther on his victory. ... We hope he's fighting for education, we hope he's fighting for jobs, and for getting our young people back down here.
"It was an honor to run," Labenz said. "We fought a good fight, and we think people were listening. ... This is a very conservative district and we brought a Democratic message and this shows people were listening. We're so proud of our supporters - we out-raised Bob Gunther. We out-raised his last two opponents combined. ... People are going to be taking notice: southern Minnesota isn't just a Republican district."
Rosen, meanwhile, garnered 69 percent of the vote, with 7,381 votes. Marquart got 32 percent of the vote with 3,370.