Congressional race heats up in Minnesota’s First District

At an ethanol plant in Fairmont, Congressional candidate Brad Finstad (R) made the case Thursday that he knows the issues facing Minnesotans firsthand.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 9:23 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 9:44 PM CDT
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FAIRMONT, Minn. (KEYC) - At an ethanol plant in Fairmont, Congressional candidate Brad Finstad (R) made the case Thursday that he knows the issues facing Minnesotans firsthand.

“We farm. I have dirt under my fingernails. I drive a John Deere tractor,” Finstad said. “I wake up in the morning trying to figure out what’s going to be broken, my farm and how to fix it.”

As the former director of USDA Rural Development for Minnesota, Finstad knows the plow side and the policy side. He says solutions to our energy crisis could be closer than we think.

“For me to be here and tour this plant, highlight the diversification that we have in southern Minnesota highlights a problem that we have in regard to gas prices, but also a solution that we have right here in our backyard.”

Under current Minnesota law, each gallon of gas sold must contain at least 10% ethanol.

Tim Luniewski, who serves as operations supervisor for Green Plains, hopes further integration of ethanol could ease some frustration with fill-ups.

“If you can save a few bucks at the pump - why not fill up with E-15, or something that will help the local industry in town?”

The fuel crisis is one of many issues on the top of mind for Minnesota voters, and Finstad says, he’s listening.

“Family pocketbook issues ruled the day. Folks are upset and worried and frustrated.”

Democrat Jeff Ettinger tested positive for COVID-19 this week, which is putting a damper on his in-person campaign plans. When asked about it, Finstad says he wishes his opponent well.

Tuesday’s special election is being held to fill the remainder of the term following the February death of Congressman Jim Hagedorn. There is also a primary for the congressional seat on Tuesday for a regular two-year term.

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