Incumbent Brian Daniels was re-elected as Minnesota House District 24B representative Tuesday.
Daniels (R-Faribault) defeated social worker and Faribault School Board member Yvette Marthaler, gaining 59.56 percent of the votes to Marthaler’s 40.34 percent with all precincts reporting.
District 24B includes the cities of Faribault, Nerstrand, Ellendale, Medford and Claremont, along with 19 townships, including Morristown, Wells, Warsaw and Cannon City.
Daniels, 60, first took office in District 24B in 2014, when he defeated incumbent Patti Fritz 50.8 percent to 49 percent. He again defeated Fritz in 2016, this time by a larger margin of 58.47 percent to 41.53 percent.
The last two times he was elected, Daniels held gatherings of 20-25 people on election night, but after another long campaign, this one was a bit more low-key.
He held a small gathering with his wife Elizabeth and a few neighbors that stopped by.
“We had a really small party here. We just had some neighbors over and that was plenty good,” he said. “We were exhausted from the last couple weeks of campaigning and I had gotten the flu a couple weeks ago and just getting over that.”
He said that keeping in touch with constituents and being available to meet at any time was a key to earning re-election.
"The biggest thing is just keeping in contact with people on a daily or weekly basis. I give everybody my personal cell phone number..." he said. "Over the past four years, I think that’s kind of been good. People know I'll go to bat for them and do what I can for them."
Daniels said healthcare is one of the top issues facing the Legislature over the next two years, though he mentioned passing the state’s tax conformity bill as one of the top things to needing be taken care of quickly.
“There’s some smaller things we have to do before the healthcare,” he said. “To me, the biggest one is we need to get the tax conformity bill signed and put in so people can file their taxes in January. That may be the number one bill we want to push through.”
Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the bill in May, which is expected to make filing income taxes more difficult for Minnesotans.
Marthaler said she was energized by the campaign and happy to continue to serve the community through her work for Rice County and serving on the School Board.
"I’m very excited to continue to serve the community on the School Board and I’m very proud of the work I do at the county," she said. “I am so proud of our campaign and all the work that people did to keep our message in the community. We made an impact with our campaign that’s going to continue in our community. It was an honor and privilege to run to represent our district. I love our district. I love all the people.”