(KMSP) - The two major party candidates for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District have run a feisty and spirited campaign that has played out over a number of debates and in ads on Twin Cities television.
Jason Lewis, the long-time talk radio host, and Angie Craig, a health care executive most recently at Saint Jude Medical, are both political newcomers with no elected office experience. Both are using their careers and life stories as part of their pitch and their attacks.
"I'll be the first to admit. I was paid to be provocative on the radio. I did my job well. Angie, you were paid to look after vets, seniors and kids. And you put profits ahead of patients,” said Lewis.
"I've got 22 years of private sector business experience and I wanted to make sure I contrasted that with Jason's 25 years in radio promoting partisan politics and gridlock in Washington. I'm going to go to Washington to look for common ground to work for Minnesota families,” said Craig in a debate.
As for the issues, health care and the Affordable Care Act or what's known as “Obamacare” has dominated the conversation.
"The only people left supporting Obamacare now are Nancy Pelosi, who's been raising money for Angie and Angie Craig," said Lewis in the debate.
Craig wants to fix what's broken bringing down costs for patients, while Lewis argues the system is pretty much broken beyond repair.
"This experiment that some of us predicted is not working,” said Lewis. “I want to repeal onerous mandates. I want to get a national market. More choice. More competition. And I don't have a problem with premium subsidies for the downtrodden. Nothing wrong with that.”
"We need to make the individual marketplace more affordable,” said Craig. “And so as you expand the risk pool in the individual marketplace, you're actually going to be able to lower the cost of healthcare."
The 2nd Congressional District that covers the south metro, including Burnsville and Eagan and runs into southeastern Minnesota is a rarity in the U.S. It’s a completely open seat because of the retirement of veteran Republican Congressman John Kline. National Democrats desperately want to pick up the seat, setting up a brutal fight to Election Day.
"I often talk about my background - grew up in a trailer park to a single mom with three kids. She went to college over 10 years, became a teacher. She showed me what kind of work Americans are willing to do to succeed, so I know what it takes and want to give a fair shot to everyone,” said Craig.
"I really do think that Angie Craig represents the status quo,” said Lewis. “I don't think you see any change in the way Washington operates, the tax code structure. This is an election cycle for change."