Political newcomer Jason Lewis won a Republican primary battle in Minnesota's second congressional district Tuesday, coasting to a relatively easy victory in spite of opposition from a seven-term Republican incumbent who hailed from the establishment wing of the party.
The results came as a blow to retiring Republican Rep. John Kline, whose ties with Washington party elders run deep. Kline, first elected to the chamber in 2003, has served as chairman of the House Education Committee since 2011, the same post held for five years by former Ohio Rep. John Boehner before he propelled to majority leader in 2006 and House speaker in 2011.
Those credentials were not enough to enable Kline, who developed a reputation for consistently siding with Washington leadership, to name his successor. Business executive Darlene Miller, whom Kline had endorsed for the seat, held just 28 percent of the vote at 9:40 p.m. local time, with a little over 42 percent of precincts reporting. Former Minnesota state Sen. John Howe stood at 19 percent, while Lewis was set to emerge as the party's candidate with 46 percent.