Minn. GOP lawmaker fends off challenge brought over vote for gay marriage

Rep. Jenifer Loon (R), of Eden Prairie canvases her neighborhood as she prepares for the Republican primary in Eden Prairie, Minn. Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Loon faces challenger Shelia Kihne in the Republican primary election on August 12.

Rep. Jenifer Loon (R), of Eden Prairie canvases her neighborhood as she prepares for the Republican primary in Eden Prairie, Minn. Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Loon faces challenger Shelia Kihne in the Republican primary election on August 12. Craig Lassig, AP

Rep. Jenifer LoonCraig Lassig, AP

Jenifer Loon

MINNEAPOLIS — State Rep. Jenifer Loon, the second-ranking Republican in the Minnesota House, has survived a primary challenge brought on by her vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

Loon’s onetime campaign manager, Sheila Kihne, decided to run after Loon voted last year to legalize gay marriage. Kihne called the vote a flip-flop for Loon.

Loon defended the vote on the campaign trail as the will of her constituents. And the Eden Prairie district apparently agreed in Tuesday’s primary, brushing off big spending from some family-value groups who sought to punish her.

Loon had her own backing from GOP groups who want the party to focus on fiscal issues rather than social issues.

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