MINNEAPOLIS (AP) —  Tim Walz says his election as Minnesota's governor and high voter turnout is proof that the state's "can-do spirit" is alive and well.

Walz defeated second-time Republican candidate Jeff Johnson on Tuesday. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton chose not to run for a third term.

Walz was the favorite throughout the race, but his victory was still unusual. It marks the first time one of Minnesota's political parties has held on to the office for three or more terms since the 1950s.

Walz campaigned on expanding the state's low-income health care program to have a public option and increasing education funding. He said his victory was a sign that Minnesota residents want to see those policies enacted.