Race to replace late Congressman Hagedorn heats up

A special election for the vacant seat will take place on the same day as the statewide primary, which is Aug. 9.

Rep. Jim Hagedorn/U.S. House

The Republican primary for Minnesota’s First Congressional District is shaping up to be a crowded contest.

The district’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is vacant following the death of Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who passed away at age 59 after a three-year battle with kidney cancer.

A special election for the vacant seat will take place on the same day as the statewide primary, which is Aug. 9. A special primary for the seat will be held on May 24. Both the special primary and election will be held under the old congressional district boundaries, whereas the statewide primary on Aug. 9 will be held under the new boundaries.

The winner of the special election will serve the remaining few months of the late Congressman Hagedorn’s term, according to Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon. Special election candidates can also file to run in the Nov. 8 general election under the newly drawn district boundaries.

State Rep. Jeremy Munson of Lake Crystal has thrown his hat in the ring, along with former state Rep. Brad Finstad, attorney Matt Benda, host of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live Ken Navitsky, and former Minneapolis mayoral candidate Bob Carney.

In addition, Jennifer Carnahan, former Minnesota GOP chairwoman and the widow of Congressman Hagedorn, is rumored to be running, though she has not yet declared a candidacy or filed any paperwork.

“Today we launch our campaign for the Special Election for Congress in MN01,” tweeted Munson. “I am a proven, conservative fighter, and I will represent Southern MN’s values and ethics as we take back the House. Voting begins in less than four weeks!”

“I am running for the future of my family, your family, and our country. I’ll put the brakes on the out-of-control Biden/Pelosi agenda that is fueling inflation and hurting southern Minnesota families,” Finstad said in a press release.

According to The Mankato Free Press, the only candidate who has filed on the Democratic side of the race is former Republican Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor.