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Walz, Johnson win straw polls for governor at Prior Lake precinct caucuses

The democratic process played out across two middle schools in Prior Lake Tuesday night.

Republicans and Democrats met separately to discuss party issues and have members choose which candidates the party generally prefers.

Republicans met at the Twin Oaks Middle School in rooms divided by precinct, while Democrats met in the cafeteria at Hidden Oaks Middle School sitting at tables, also divided by precinct.

Democrats meet in the cafeteria at Hidden Oaks Middle School on Feb. 6 to caucus for the upcoming election. More than 30 percent of attendees supported U.S. Rep. Tim Walz for governor.

Statewide, Democrats showed strong support for U.S. Rep. Tim Walz in the gubernatorial straw poll. State Auditor Rebecca Otto came in second and State Rep. Erin Murphy came in third.

In Prior Lake, 30 percent of attendees supported Walz. Walz has served as a U.S. representative since 2007. Nearly 24 percent supported Otto, who has served Minnesota as a state auditor, also since 2007. Just over 13 percent supported Murphy, who was elected in 2006.

Rep. Tony Albright addresses a room of Prior Lake GOP caucus members on Feb. 6 at Twin Oaks Middle School. Republicans statewide and in Scott County showed overwhelming support for former Rep. Jeff Johnson for governor.

Nearly half (45 percent) of Republicans statewide supported Jeff Johnson, a former House representative. Johnson served from 2001 to 2007. More than 15 percent put “undecided,” the next highest percentage. Keith Downey came in at third with just over 14 percent. Downey is the former chairman of the Republican party.

In Scott County, there was overwhelming support for Johnson at 57 percent. Undecided once again came in second at about 15 percent, with Downey coming in third at 12 percent.

The conventions for both parties will be held March 10. The GOP side of the aisle will meet at Shakopee High School and DFLers will convene at Twin Oaks Middle School in Prior Lake