GOP’s Hagedorn, Democrat Feehan knotted up in Minnesota’s First Congressional District

November 7, 2018

DFLer Dan Feehan and Republican Jim Hagedorn were running in a close race for the open First Congressional District in southern Minnesota.

With 20 percent of precincts reporting about 9:45 p.m., Hagedorn and Feehan were in a virtual dead heat, only 43 votes apart.

The open seat, which Democratic Rep. Tim Walz represented for 12 years until his bid for governor this year, drew $13.8 million in campaign spending by outside groups. Democrats are trying to hold a seat that Walz won over Hagedorn by only 1 percentage point in 2016, while Republicans hope to gain advantage after President Donald Trumps 15-point win that year.

Hagedorn, who formerly worked for the U.S. Department of Treasury, made the case that its time for a Republican to represent the rural district and that hell work closely with the president. Its Hagedorns fourth try for the seat.

Feehan presented himself as a moderate, saying he wants Congress to be a check on Trump. Like Walz, he is a veteran: he completed two combat tours of duty in Iraq, then served as acting assistant secretary of defense at the Pentagon during the Obama administration.

Republican groups ran ads questioning Feehans patriotism and trying to link him to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and liberal billionaire George Soros. Feehan fought back with an ad of his own calling attacks on his military career disrespectful.

Immigration and trade are top issues in the heavily agricultural district. Feehan supports a path to citizenship for immigrants who pay taxes and dont have criminal records, while Hagedorn backs a system permitting people to work in the United States and earn credits toward citizenship.

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