Republican Brad Finstad won Tuesday’s special election to fill vacant U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn’s southern seat in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, the Associated Press reported.
The big picture: Finstad, a former lawmaker and USDA rural development director, defeated Democratic candidate and former Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger.
Background: Hagedorn, a two-term GOP congressman, died in January of kidney cancer at age 59.
- Finstad beat a field of challengers that included a conservative state lawmaker backed by the Freedom Caucus and former Minnesota Republican Party chair Jennifer Carnahan, the late congressman’s wife, to win the GOP nomination in a special primary in May.
Between the lines; The vast southern Minnesota district has been considered a swing seat in recent elections. Hagedorn won by less than a percentage point in 2018, ending more than a decade of DFL control.
- But the political trend in farm country’s largely rural district has shifted in favor of the GOP.
What’s next: Finstad and Ettinger will go forward again in November, when NoThe Otters will decide who goes to Washington full-time in the red district.