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Updated 5:06 AM  |  August 15, 2018

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Vermont Republicans set to nominate the same man for six statewide races

Republicans were set to nominate the same man, a businessman named H. Brooke Paige, for nearly every office on the ballot below the governor’s race.

No other Republican filed to run for treasurer, secretary of state, attorney general, or state auditor, effectively handing those primaries to Paige. 

At the same time, Paige defeated a lesser-known candidate in the GOP’s primary for Vermont’s sole House seat, and looked set to narrowly defeat attorney Lawrence Zupan for the right to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — who was already seen as a strong favorite for reelection. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Paige led by 436 votes of almost 25,000 cast in the GOP Senate primary.

Hagedorn wins GOP nomination in Minnesota’s 1st district

Jim Hagedorn, a frequent candidate for a House district that covers most of southern Minnesota, has won the Republican nomination for the third time. He will face Dan Feehan, a Democrat making his first run for office, in November.

Hagedorn, whose father once represented an overlapping district, had nearly won the district in 2016, as a surge of votes for Donald Trump took Democrats by surprise. But once Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) announced a bid for governor, more Republicans jumped into the race, seeking a shot at a conservative-leaning seat.

Democrats pick Joe Radinovich in Minnesota’s 8th district

Joe Radinovich, a former state legislator and labor organizer, has won the Democratic nomination in one of the party’s most at-risk seats — the 8th district of Minnesota, which covers Duluth and the state’s Iron Range.

Democrats, who easily held the district for years, lost it in 2010 then recovered it with Rep. Rick Nolan. But while Barack Obama carried the district twice, Donald Trump won it in 2016, and Nolan nearly lost. Republicans recruited Pete Stauber for the race — a commissioner in the district’s biggest county, as well as a former hockey player and police officer. Nolan retired, then made an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor.

While Radinovich was considered the Democrats’ strongest contender for the seat, he starts the general election with less than $60,000 in his campaign account; Stauber, who put away a token challenger, has nearly $500,000.

Rep. Tim Walz wins Democratic nomination for Minnesota governor

Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) has won the Democratic nomination for governor of Minnesota, a relief for Democrats who worried that a scandal-plagued candidate would come out ahead in a messy three-way race.

With 69 percent of precincts reporting, Walz led Attorney General Lori Swanson and state legislator Erin Murphy with 43 percent of the vote. Both Walz and Murphy ran on universal health care and legal marijuana, positions that Swanson opposed.

Swanson, the only candidate in the primary who had previously been elected statewide, was badly weakened heading into Tuesday. Her running mate, Rep. Rick Nolan, was found to have given a campaign role to a staffer who had left his congressional office amid sexual harassment allegations.

Days after that scandal broke, the Intercept published stories detailing how Swanson had pressured staffers to work on her campaigns. Swanson claimed that the left-wing magazine was “discredited” and had a vendetta against her, but former staffers went on the record to confirm the story.

Walz spent the final week of the race fending off negative attacks from Swanson, especially on his past support from the National Rifle Association. But he benefited from an argument that his electoral record — six victories in the 1st congressional district, which leans Republican — would make him a stronger statewide candidate than either Swanson or Murphy.

If elected, Walz’s running mate Peggy Flanagan would become the first Native American lieutenant governor of any state.

Republican Jeff Johnson stops Tim Pawlenty’s comeback bid in Minnesota

Former Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson has won the Republican nomination for governor of Minnesota, defeating Tim Pawlenty, who held the job for two terms.

Pawlenty, who left office in 2011 and made a brief run for the White House, had been the front-runner ever since jumping in the race four months ago. Johnson, his party’s 2014 nominee for governor, struggled to catch up in fundraising or polling.

But he gained ground as he attacked Pawlenty’s record as governor — which overlapped with the Great Recession — and his splashy un-endorsement of Donald Trump in 2016. While Johnson had once called Trump a “jackass,” Pawlenty, then serving as the head of the Financial Services Roundtable, said he could no longer support Trump after the release of an “Access Hollywood” tape that found him bragging about sexual assault.

Johnson, who won the GOP’s endorsement at its state convention, entered Tuesday with little left to spend for November. While the race is a priority for Republicans, polling has found any Democrat beginning with a solid lead over Johnson.

Live primary results: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut and Vermont

Two major Midwest swing states are picking their nominees for the midterm elections Tuesday, as are two deep blue states where Republicans like their chances at electing or reelecting center-right governors.