Former Trump USDA official Brad Finstad carved out a narrow 388-vote victory over state Rep. Jeremy Munson, securing the GOP nomination in a contest to fill the remainder of late Rep. Jim Hagedorn’s term.
Of the 10 GOP candidates, none came close to securing as much support as Finstad and Munson who received 13,835 (37.98%) and 13,447 (36.92%) votes respectively. The third place candidate, Jennifer Carnahan, secured only 2,918 (8.01%) votes. Despite being Hagedorn’s widow, Carnahan did not have the support of his family — and reportedly didn’t have the endorsement of the late congressman himself to run for his seat.
Finstad will next face off against Democrat nominee and ex-Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger on Aug. 9. Ettinger secured about 64% of the DFL vote.
Whoever wins in August will only hold the seat for a few months before it comes up for reelection again in November.
In a victory statement, Finstad declared that he “promise[s] to fight the extreme Biden and Pelosi agenda that is devastating our families.” He describes himself on his website as “a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, defending the unborn, and keeping government out of the way so entrepreneurs, farmers, and small businesses can thrive.”
Munson conceded to Finstad in a statement released Monday morning and encouraged conservatives to “rally behind Brad to keep this seat in Republican hands.”
“Unfortunately, last night did not go as we had hoped. It seems God has a different plan for us. This does not mean our work is done. America is the most incredible nation on earth,” he said. “It is We the People who make it so great by continually fighting for a better future and defending our liberties and freedoms. We must never give up that fight.”