Hagedorn Narrowly Declares Victory in High-Turnout Election
Midnight didn't mean the end of Election Day, especially for the Minnesota First Congressional District race.
Minnesota's First Congressional District race wasn't fulled reported until 15 hours after polls closed. Just after 10 a.m. Wednesday, results showed Republican Jim Hagedorn defeating Democrat Dan Feehan by less than half of a percentage point.
Hagedorn unofficially finished the race with 146,202 votes to Feehan's 144,891 votes. He claimed victory when all precincts had reported this morning.
"It was kind of a relief that all of this work that we all put in for the good of the country, we're fighting for the country that's why we did it," said Hagedorn at his post-election press conference. "And getting to know the people of Southern Minnesota being in this position to gain their trust, to have this job, it's humbling."
Feehan's campaign released a statement saying in part: "As this race is approximately 500 votes away from triggering a recount, the campaigns owe it to voters in the first congressional district to wait until official results are in."
To trigger a mandated recount, the Minnesota Secretary of State requires a minimum threshold of a .25-percent difference in votes.
Despite losing the majority of statewide races, Republicans are pleased with Hagedorn's projected win along with voter turnout.
"We really did match and exceed our expectations for voter turnout as well," said MN GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan. "The unfortunate part is we weren't able to pick up those independent and swing voters."
Minnesota's Secretary of State says nearly 2.6 million Minnesotans voted in this election, the highest voter participation for a midterm election since 2002, and the largest raw total for a midterm election in Minnesota history.
Blue Earth County raised the bar even further with roughly 76% of eligible voters turning out, with early and absentee voting playing a major part.
"Remember, we went from 'excuses needed to vote by absentee' in 2012, in 2014 we were able to have anybody vote without having a reason to vote early," said Blue Earth County Director of Taxpayer Services Michael Stalberger. "So we've just made sure over the last couple of elections that people understand that's available to them."
----KEYC News 12