Election may test anti-Trump winds, affect Senate control

A special election for a Cottage Grove-area state Senate seat could give a sharper picture of a midterm swoon for Republicans and cue up a fight for control of the Senate.

Monday’s special election has Democrat Karla Bigham running against Republican Denny McNamara for the seat that former Sen. Dan Schoen resigned after being accused of sexual harassment.

Both candidates are touting their legislative experience. Democrats are confident they have momentum after several victories in GOP-held districts nationwide.

A win for Bigham would put Democrats one seat away from the majority. It also would put extra pressure on a lawsuit over Sen. Michelle Fischbach’s move to keep her Senate seat after becoming lieutenant governor.

Voters in southwestern Minnesota will also replace a longtime GOP lawmaker who resigned after sexual misconduct accusations.