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Gimse retains Senate District 13 seat

WILLMAR -- Sen. Joe Gimse of Willmar survived a challenge from DFLer Larry Rice to win election to a second term in the Minnesota Senate in District 13.

Unofficial final returns Wednesday morning showed Gimse with 12,592 votes, 56 percent of those cast, and Rice with 9,838 votes, 43 percent of the ballots.

Gimse, a Republican, was first elected in 2006 after a hard-fought race with longtime Sen. Dean Johnson of Willmar.

His campaign message of no new taxes and holding the line on state spending apparently resonated with voters once again on Tuesday. "We just need to face the facts and get down to what is essential," Gimse said in an interview before the election.

District 13 embraces a diverse constituency that includes Kandiyohi and Pope counties and southwestern Stearns County.