Sen. Tony Kinkel, DFL-Park Rapids, who earned a spot in the Minnesota Senate last December in a special election, was re-elected Tuesday to the Senate District 4 seat.

He defeated Bill Lawrence, Bemidji, 22,006-14,354. Kinkel garnered 61 percent of the vote compared to 39 percent for Lawrence.

Kinkel, dean of technical education at Northwest Technical College in Bemidji, campaigned on a platform of fighting the deregulation of the power industry and finding ways to make prescription drugs affordable.

Kinkel could not be contacted after the election figures were compiled.

Lawrence, publisher of the Native American Press and the Ojibwe Press, said he was disappointed with his loss. He figured the people of District 4 were not ready for a change. He also sensed a reluctance on their part to place a Republican in the Senate since they already had elected Republicans to the House 4A and House 4B seats.

The 61-year-old Lawrence did not appear eager to run for the seat again.

"Right now I'm ready to let somebody else do it," Lawrence said. "I've kind of had enough for awhile."