Congressional candidates regroup after special election

The results are in for Tuesday's special election for Minnesota's First Congressional District seat.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The sun has set on the August special election, and the vacant seat in Minnesota’s First Congressional District has at last been filled.

Republican Brad Finstad of New Ulm defeated Democrat Jeff Ettinger of Austin and will serve the rest of the late Jim Hagedorn’s term.

The seat is up for election again in November, with the winner representing the newly drawn First District.

Members of Finstad’s team said that there are efforts to get Finstad sworn in possibly as early as this week, and Finstad said that he’s ready to get to work.

“We don’t wake up in the morning and figure out how we’re going to punch each other in the face and then try to get along and solve our problems,” Finstad said. “We figure out how to find some commonality, how to be civil and compassionate, but yet very bold and strong in our conservative values.”

Tuesday’s election doubled as both the special election and the primary for November’s general election.

Both Finstad and Ettinger handily won their party’s nominations, meaning the two will face off again in November.

The special election vote was close, with Finstad edging out Ettinger by four points, but Ettinger is hopeful for a different outcome the second time around.

“While we did fall short by four percentage points, I mean, we significantly out-performed what most of the predictions were. Definitely won our primary going away, and feel we have momentum heading into a new, more advantageous district, and heading into November when the turnouts are going to be probably three times as high as it is in August,” said Ettinger.

The seat will have a slightly different set of constituents due to redistricting during the next term, meaning both candidates will have room to reach out and campaign in new areas.

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