Jim Hagedorn has claimed victory. Dan Feehan wants to wait for official canvassing votes.
No matter what happens, the two political opponents waged one of the closest battles for a congressional spot in the nation.
Minnesota law calls for counties to review election results by hand-counting ballots in random precincts and comparing them to election-night totals. Depending on the county, that’s scheduled for Nov. 19 or 20. Results aren’t official until they’ve been certified by a canvassing board.
Unofficial tallies had Hagedorn, a Republican from Blue Earth, Minn., with a slim 1,300-vote margin with all precincts reporting.
That didn’t happen until Wednesday morning, however, as computer issues plagued reporting of results in Mower County.
Hagedorn, a former Treasury Department official and son of a former congressman, was running for this seat for the fourth time, the third as the GOP nominee. He came within 2,500 votes of beating Tim Walz in 2016. The seat became open when Walz chose to run for governor, and Hagedorn never stopped running. He positioned himself as a strong supporter of President Donald Trump, and said he would be a conservative reinforcement in Washington.
“It is deeply humbling to win the election for Minnesota’s First District,” Hagedorn said in a tweet Wednesday morning. “I’m honored to be your next Congressman, and will fight every day for patient-centered health care reform, secure borders, work for welfare and economic growth.”
Feehan, 36, is an Iraq War veteran and acting assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration.
It was an intense contest that drew nearly $15 million in outside spending and was one of the districts the GOP targeted to flip in the House.
In other U.S. House races in Minnesota:
In the suburban 3rd District, Democratic businessman Dean Phillips defeated Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen. Phillips formerly ran his family’s liquor company and is a grandson of the late advice columnist Abigail Van Buren, better known as Dear Abby. In the suburban/rural 2nd, Democratic former medical device company executive Angie Craig unseated Republican Rep. Jason Lewis, who narrowly beat her in 2016.
In northeastern Minnesota’s 8th District, Pete Stauber, a St. Louis County commissioner and retired Duluth police officer, defeated former state representative Joe Radinovich in a race that was seen as Republicans’ best chance nationwide of picking up a Democratic seat. The seat opened up with Rep. Rick Nolan’s retirement.
History was made in the solidly Democratic 5th District, where state Rep. Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American — and one of the first two Muslim women — elected to Congress. Omar defeated Republican Jennifer Zielinski in the Minneapolis-area district.