Jim Oberstar loses to Chip Cravaack in CD8

The race up north.

The race up north.

By the time we cut out early this morning, the Republicans were on their way to historic sweep in the House of Representatives, tossing out Democrats by the fistful. But  as the dust settled in seven out of the eight Minnesota congressional races, exactly nothing changed.
The exception: the 8th Congressional District.

It was the only race that turned into a nail-biter. But by 3:34 a.m. Wednesday, the AP reported that James Oberstar, the 18-term veteran dean of the DFL's congressional delegation, had lost his job to GOP challenger Chip Cravaack, a man with no political experience at all.

St. Louis County, the biggest county in the 8th, is famously slow in tallying all of its votes -- the county's director of elections Patricia Stollee told us this afternoon she hopes to get everything in by 2 a.m. -- so if the race is close, it could be a long night before we know if Oberstar has been toppled by a neophyte. 

And that's how it turned out out. Cravaack was up by 2,653 with 91.9 percent of the votes counted at about 2:30 a.m. Not long after ward, AP called the race for the neophyte.

Meanwhile, Democrats Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz all held their seats, as did Republicans Erik Paulsen and John Kline.

And despite a very noisy and historically expensive race in the 6th District, it looks like we'll still have our favorite villain Michele Bachmann to kick around for at least another two years.