With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Republican Jim Hagedorn holds a 1,311-vote lead over Democrat Dan Feehan. That is a margin of 0.45 percent outside the .25 percent that would trigger a mandatory recount.
Dan Feehan could request and pay for a recount, but if that doesn't happen, Republicans will have picked up two open Minnesota congressional seats currently held by Democrats.
Jim Hagedorn believes President Donald Trump’s visit to Rochester one month ago was a big boost to his third try at Congress. He says that his platform and the president’s are very similar.
“Things about securing the borders, and making sure we had regulatory reform, U.S. energy independence, protecting the second amendment, right to life,” said Hagedorn.
He says outstate voters in rural areas, which were traditional DFL strongholds, are aligning more with key conservative issues than ever before.
“And for 30 or 40 years, the F and the L have been leaving the Democrat Party, farmers and laborers have been walking away slowly and have transformed these greater Minnesota districts,” said Hagedorn.
Hagedorn’s narrow win over Democrat Dan Feehan did not come cheap. Combined, the two races spent nearly $18 million with about $7 million for both candidates from outside sources. But Hagedorn says even the money Feehan raised himself was also largely from outside.
“The other fellow was from out of the district, never lived here before, spent 85 percent of his money from outside the state, so I wouldn’t mind seeing that change,” he said.
Hagedorn now goes to Congress after spending a lot of money and walking a lot of miles to get there.
“We’ve been working the district for five years shaking hands,” he said. “I literally have walked 350 miles in parades, it’s like starting at South Dakota at I-90, criss-crossing and shaking hands, all the way to Wisconsin, turning around and going back to Rochester.”
Feehan's campaign, however, released a statement, urging voters to hold off on determining a winner until the official results are in.
Statement from Dan Feehan for Congress campaign:
With a difference of just 1,311 (0.45 percent) votes separating the two candidates, we believe that it's important to receive the official results that county canvass officers will release in the coming days. 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.
LAST ELECTION: Very tight race in 2016. Rep. Tim Walz won this seat over Jim Hagedorn in 2016, 50.3 percent to 49.6 percent. Just 2,500 votes separated the two. Of the last four reps in Minnesota 1st District, two have been Democrats and two have been Republicans.
DFL Candidate: Dan Feehan. Former soldier, teacher, and Assistant Secretary of Defense. Born in St. Paul and grew up in Red Wing. From 2005 through 2009, served as an active duty soldier and completed two combat tours of duty as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Joined Obama Administration, first as a White House Fellow and then as an acting Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon.
Republican Candidate: Jim Hagedorn. As the 2016 Republican candidate for this seat, Hagedorn’s loss was the 12th closest congressional election in Minnesota’s history. He also lost to Walz in 2014. Born in Blue Earth, grew up on a hog farm. In 1974, Jim’s father was elected to Congress to represent southern Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District. Worked for U.S. Department of the Treasury.