In a shocking upset in Minnesota's primary election Tuesday, County Commissioner Jeff Johnson defeated two-time former Gov. Tim Pawlenty for the Republican nomination.
'It is the era of Trump...'
Pawlenty conceded the election after The Associated Press called the election with only 68 percent of precincts reporting a 9 percent margin for Johnson over the former governor.
Undoubtedly, some will see the upset as a victory for President Donald Trump's movement, even if he didn't endorse Pawlenty's competitor. Johnson framed himself as the Trump alternative to more moderate Pawlenty, who had criticized Trump before the 2016 election as “unhinged and unfit for office."
Johnson had also criticized Trump, calling him a "jacka**" publicly, but he at least could say he voted for him.
More importantly, the victory for Johnson puts in peril a promised $2.3 million ad purchase by the Republican Governors Association which was premised on Pawlenty winning the nomination, according to Buzzfeed News.
On the Democratic side, Tim Walz defeated the crowded field to win the nomination, including front-runner state Rep. Erin Murphy, who received the official endorsement from the party earlier this year.
Walz and Johnson will battle to fill the governor's seat vacated by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, who is leaving the office after two terms.
Pawlenty indicated that he was done with politics after this loss, and made reference to the roll Trump had in the election.
On his way out, Pawlenty greets the media. “The Republican Party has shifted. It is the era of Trump and I’m just n… https://t.co/crfJfrp9eF— Eric Roper (@Eric Roper) 1534303108.0
“The Republican Party has shifted," he said. "It is the era of Trump and I’m just not a Trump-like politician.”