Republican Wins Minnesota Special General Election for Vacant US House Seat

Republican Wins Minnesota Special General Election for Vacant US House Seat
President Donald Trump and GOP congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn at a Make America Great Again rally in Rochester, Minn., on Oct. 4, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
Jeff Louderback

Republican Brad Finstad on Aug. 9 defeated Democrat Jeff Ettinger in the special election to fill the remainder of the late Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn’s term.

With 56 percent of the votes counted at 11:07 p.m., Finstad received 77 percent of the vote to Ettinger’s 23 percent, according to The Associated Press.

Hagedorn was first elected in 2019. He died after a long battle with kidney cancer, his wife, Jennifer Carnahan, announced on Feb. 18, 2022.

Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, and a former 1st Congressional District representative, announced details for the special election within the three-day window of Hagedorn’s death, as established by Minnesota law.

Hagedorn won by less than one percentage point in 2018 before prevailing by three percentage points in 2020.

Finstad’s victory narrows the Democrats’ already slim majority in the U.S. House.

Finstad is a former state representative. Ettinger is the former Hormel Foods Corp. CEO. Each candidate advanced in their respective special election primaries in May.

They were also on the ballot in November’s second election for a full two-year term. They faced challengers in those races, and prevailed, setting a rematch in November.

Finstad defeated state Rep. Jeremy Munson in the Republican primary. Finstad also beat Munson in the May special election primary.

Ettinger topped James Rainwater in the Democratic primary.

Republicans are also hopeful that they can flip Minnesota’s 2nd and 3rd Congressional District seats that turned Democrat during the Trump administration.

Major party candidates are unopposed in the Aug. 9 primary.

In the 2nd district, Democratic Rep. Angie Craig and retired U.S. Marine Tyler Kistner, a Republican, have a rematch set for the fall. Kistner was named to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program. Craig is part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline program for vulnerable incumbents.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips appears to be in a safer spot in the 3rd district. He faces U.S. Navy veteran Tom Weiler in a district Biden would have won by 21 points.

Jeff Louderback covers news and features on the White House and executive agencies for The Epoch Times. He also reports on Senate and House elections. A professional journalist since 1990, Jeff has a versatile background that includes covering news and politics, business, professional and college sports, and lifestyle topics for regional and national media outlets.
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