MINNEAPOLIS — There are only 29 days until the election, and the 700,000 voters in the 1st Congressional District will once again elect a member of Congress.
It’s a swing district that was in Democratic hands for years, but is increasingly voting Republican.
The death of First District Congressman Jim Hagedotn from cancer last February triggered a series of elections to replace him.
In August there was a special election to fill the remaining 4 1/2 months of Hagedorn’s term. The election pitted farmer and former Trump USDA appointee Brad Finstad, a Republican, against Jeff Ettinger, the former CEO of Hormel, who is a Democrat. Finstad won with 51% of the vote. Ettinger got 47 percent.
Now the two candidates face each other again in November for the chance to serve a full two-year term.
The district has been trending Republican. Donald Trump won the First District in each of his presidential elections by more than 10 percentage points.
On the campaign trail, Ettinger has emphasized his support for abortion rights. Finstad emphasizes the economy, which he says is the most important issue for voters.
Finstad was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.
“It’s family pocketbook issues. And I’m hearing it from the South Dakota border to the Wisconsin border, along the Iowa-Minnesota border … 21 counties that I’ve been in in southern Minnesota’s 1st District,” he said. “It’s the price of gas, it’s the price of food, supply chain disruptions, inflation, seeing 401Ks plummet.”
Ettinger will be a guest on WCCO Sunday morning at 10:30 on October 16.
Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District stretches across southern Minnesota from the Wisconsin to South Dakota borders. For many years this district was represented in Congress by Tim Walz, who in 2016 won the district by only about 2,500 votes. Every election since has been close.
You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Mike Augustyniak at 6.00 and 10.30 every Sunday.