First District Republican delegates gathered in convention this weekend in Mankato to endorse a congressional nominee. In Minnesota, though the conventions don’t have the power to directly nominate candidates, contenders usually abide by the delegate vote and don’t force primaries. In this instance, the delegates again chose businessman Jim Hagedorn as the endorsed candidate. Mr. Hagedorn barely lost the 2016 general election to Rep. Tim Walz (D-Mankato) by just half a percentage point. Mr. Walz is now running for Governor, so the open 1st District will feature a hot general election campaign. State Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester), who lost the convention endorsement to Hagedorn on Saturday, says she will force an August 14th primary election.
The Democrats simultaneously met in convention and did so in Le Sueur; a small town located 25 miles north of Mankato on the way to the Twin Cities. There, the party delegates turned to former US Defense Department official Dan Feehan. It appears no primary will be forced in this race, so it becomes apparent that Mr. Feehan will become the party nominee attempting to succeed Mr. Walz. A general election between Messrs. Hagedorn and Feehan is rated as a toss-up.
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