United States Senate Election in Minnesota, 2002
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United States Senate Election in Minnesota, 2002
2002 United States Senate election in Minnesota

← 1996 November 5, 2002 2008 →
  Norm Coleman congress cropped.jpg Walter Mondale 2000.jpg
Nominee Norm Coleman Walter Mondale
Party Republican Democratic (DFL)
Popular vote 1,116,697 1,067,246
Percentage 49.5% 47.3%

County results
Coleman:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%
Mondale:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%

U.S. senator before election

Dean Barkley

Elected U.S. Senator

Norm Coleman

The 2002 United States Senate election in Minnesota took place on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone was running for reelection to a third term, but died in a plane crash eleven days before the election. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) chose former Vice President and 1984 Presidential nominee Walter Mondale to replace Wellstone on the ballot. Mondale had previously held the seat from 1964 to 1976, resigning to take office as Vice President. He narrowly lost to Republican Norm Coleman, the former Mayor of Saint Paul. The day before the election, Governor Jesse Ventura appointed the 1996 Independence Party candidate, Dean Barkley, to serve the remainder of Wellstone's term.[1] As of 2020, this is the last Senate election in Minnesota won by a Republican.

Primary elections


Paul Wellstone defeated Dick Franson 93% to 5%.


Norm Coleman defeated Jack Shepard 95% to 5%.

General election

Candidates on the ballot

* Wellstone appeared on the ballot despite his death (he had been replaced by Mondale)


At the time of his death, Wellstone was slightly ahead in the polls. After Mondale was chosen as the DFL candidate, he led 51% to 45% in a poll taken a few days before the election. Early on Election Day, Mondale was leading, but by nightfall Coleman pulled ahead, winning by 2.2 percentage points.



General election results
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Norm Coleman 1,116,697 49.53% +8.25%
Democratic (DFL) Walter Mondale 1,067,246 47.34% -2.98%
Independence Jim Moore 45,139 2.00% -4.98%
Democratic (DFL) Paul Wellstone (incumbent) + 11,381 0.50% n/a
Green Ray Tricomo 10,119 0.48% n/a
Constitution Miro Drago Kovatchevich 2,254 0.10% n/a
Write-in 1,803 0.80% n/a
Total votes 2,254,639 100.00% n/a
Republican gain from Independence


After Coleman was declared the winner, Mondale conceded and said in his speech, "At the end of what will be my last campaign, I want to say to Minnesota, you always treated me well, you always listened to me." His loss, combined with his landslide defeat in the United States presidential election in 1984, made him the only American major-party candidate to lose a general election in all 50 states as George McGovern had also lost 49 states in the 1972 presidential election and lost the Massachusetts Democratic presidential primary in 1984. Although Mondale did not seek office again, he remained active politically.

Coleman was sworn in on January 3, 2003. He served one term in the United States Senate, losing to Al Franken by a very small margin in the 2008 election.


  1. ^ Associated Press (November 6, 2002). "Mondale Concedes to Coleman". FOX News Network, LLC. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved 2010.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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