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Who’s running for Congress in Minnesota in 2020

We’re tracking all the candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

After the dust cleared on the 2018 election, Minnesota’s delegation to Congress looked very different: Minnesotans elected first-timers to four of the state’s eight House seats, and confirmed appointed Sen. Tina Smith to continue in the place of Sen. Al Franken. Two years later, all representatives — and Sen. Smith — must run again to hang on to those seats.

2020 promises to be a busy political year, from the top of the ticket down. To help add a little order to the chaos, MinnPost is keeping track of all the candidates who declare for federal offices in Minnesota. We'll keep track of who drops out, who gets the party endorsement, and who wins the primary. (We’re also keeping track of candidates for the Minnesota Legislature.)

If you know of a candidate who’s missing or see any other information that needs correcting, please contact us — gschneider@minnpost.com or tnehil@minnpost.com.

Senate

Fresh off of defeating Republican state Sen. Karin Housley by more than 10 points in 2018, Sen. Tina Smith must again run for her seat in 2020. Smith was appointed after the resignation of Sen. Al Franken, and won election in 2018 to fill out his term. Now she's running for a new, six-year term. Smith’s likely opponent is Republican-endorsed Rep. Jason Lewis, a convserative talk radio host who lost his seat in the Second District to Rep. Angie Craig in 2018.

DFL

  • Tina Smith Incumbent  Endorsed 
  • Senator from Minnesota, Smith formerly served as the Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota (2015–2018) and Chief of Staff to Gov. Mark Dayton. Smith worked as Vice President of External Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In office, Smith has focused on agriculture and trade policy and has walked a fine line on controversial mining projects in Minnesota.

    From: Minneapolis

    Campaign website: https://tinaforminnesota.com/

    Incumbent

    Endorsed by DFL Party

    Close

Republican

  • Jason Lewis  Endorsed 
  • The Republican-endorsed candidate for Minnesota Senate. The former representative from Minnesota's Second District, Lewis hosted a conservative talk radio show, the Jason Lewis Show, from 2009 to 2014. He worked as a radio host prior to that. Lewis has aligned himself with President Trump on issues like trade and immigration.

    From: Woodbury

    Campaign website: https://lewisformn.com/

    Endorsed by Republican Party

    Close

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Congressional District 1

1,315. That's how many votes Rep. Jim Hagedorn won his seat by, narrowly defeating DFLer Dan Feehan. In his first term in office, Hagedorn has been a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, even as policies like the trade war have adversely affected farmers in his district. In 2020, Feehan’s running again and has the backing of national Democratic groups, which could make for a hard-fought rematch in this southern Minnesota district.

Republican

  • Jim Hagedorn Incumbent  Endorsed 
  • Representative from the First District, Hagedorn was elected in 2018. The son of retired Rep. Tom Hagedorn, he graduated from George Mason University in 1993. He ran three times for the seat, winning on the third attempt, after Rep. Tim Walz retired from the seat to run for governor. Hagedorn defeated DFL-endorsed candidate Dan Feehan in 2018. In office, he has aligned himself with President Trump's agenda.

    From: Blue Earth/St. Louis Park

    Campaign website: http://www.jimhagedorn.org/

    Incumbent

    Endorsed by Republican Party

    Close

DFL

  • Dan Feehan  Endorsed 
  • The endorsed DFL candidate for Minnesota's First District, Feehan is a veteran, school teacher, and second-time candidate for the the district. Feehan is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and Georgetown University. After narrowly losing the seat in 2018, Feehan joined The Center for a New American Security as a Senior Fellow. Feehan is running on issues like avdocating for affordable prescription drugs and ending bio-fuel exemptions for oil companies.

    From: North Mankato

    Campaign website: https://www.danfeehan.com/

    Endorsed by DFL Party

    Close

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Congressional District 2

DFL Rep. Angie Craig defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Jason Lewis to secure this seat in 2018. Prior to Lewis, the area had long been represented by GOP Rep. John Kline. That history makes the district an appealing target for Republicans — who have been running ads against Craig since last year — if they can find the right candidate. Meanwhile, Craig will be touting her bipartisan bonafides in her pitch to keep the district blue in 2020.

DFL

  • Angie Craig Incumbent  Endorsed 
  • Representative from the Second District, Craig was elected after defeating incumbent Republican Rep. Jason Lewis in 2018. Before politics, Craig worked in human resources at St. Jude Medical from 2005 to 2017. She is running on issues like reducing the cost of prescription drugs, pushing back against President Trump's trade war with China, and expanding rural broadband.

    From: Burnsville

    Campaign website: https://www.angiecraig.com/

    Incumbent

    Endorsed by DFL Party

    Close

Republican

  • Tyler Kistner  Endorsed 
  • The endorsed MNGOP candidate for Minnesota's Second District. Kistner grew up in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities. He is a veteran who served 9 years in the U.S Marine Corps.

    From: Prior Lake

    Campaign website: https://www.tylerkistnerforcongress.com//

    Endorsed by Republican Party

    Close

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  • Adam Charles Weeks
  • Weeks’ platform supports an "end to the war on drugs" and wants to "weed out corruption." He has also endorsed Black Lives Matter.

    Campaign website: weeks2020.com

    Close

Congressional District 3

Rep. Dean Phillips won his seat in 2018, defeating Rep. Erik Paulsen in this suburban, relatively affluent district amid a wave of wins for Democrats in similar areas. A big question for 2020: Was that suburban Democratic wave a fluke or a realignment? In office, Phillips has taken moderate positions — he is a prominent member (along with the Eighth District’s Rep. Pete Stauber) of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus — that may be a good match for the Third District.

DFL

  • Dean Phillips Incumbent  Endorsed 
  • Represenative from the Third District, Phillips was elected after defeating Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen in 2018. A graduate of Brown University, Phillips worked in his family’s Phillips Distilling Company from 2000 to 2012 before managing Talenti Gelato and then founding Pennys Coffee, which now has three locations in the Twin Cities. Phillips is an advoate for campaign finance reform and improving on the Affordable Care Act.

    From: Deephaven

    Campaign website: https://www.phillipsforcongress.org/

    Incumbent

    Endorsed by DFL Party

    Close

Republican

  • Kendall Qualls  Endorsed 
  • The endorsed Republican candidate for District 3. A U.S. Army Veteran and healthcare executive, Qualls earned an MBA from the University of Michigan, an MA from the University of Oklahoma, and a BA from Cameron University.

    From: Medina

    Campaign website: https://kendallforcongress.com/

    Endorsed by Republican Party

    Close

Congressional District 4

Rep. Betty McCollum has safely held her reliably blue seat, which comprises St. Paul and its northern and eastern suburbs, since 2001. McCollum is no stranger to controversy — she is one of Congress’ most vocal critics of American policy towards Israel and she’s worked on multiple approaches to permanently ending the possibility of mining near the Boundary Waters during her most recent term — but she has yet to draw a serious challenge from either within her own party of from the GOP in St. Paul.

DFL

  • Betty McCollum Incumbent  Endorsed 
  • Representative from the Fourth District, McCollum was elected in 2000. McCollum graduated from College of St. Catherine in St. Paul Minnesota in 1976. In 1992 She was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives and served four terms before being elected to her congressional seat in 2000. McCollum is an advocate for restricting mining near the Boundary Waters.

    From: St. Paul

    Campaign website: https://www.mccollumforcongress.com/

    Incumbent

    Endorsed by DFL Party

    Close

Republican

  • Gene Rechtzigel
  • Rechtzigel is in part calling for the elimination of the Affordable Care Act and GMO labeling of all foods. Rechtzigel, who was not the endorsed Republican candidate in the district, won his primary.

    From: Newport

    Campaign website: www.geneforpeople.com

    Close

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Congressional District 5

Rep. Ilhan Omar was selected by voters in Minnesota's Fifth District after she won a five-way primary to replace Rep. Keith Ellison, who went on become to Minnesota's Attorney General. Omar, along with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, is one of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress. Though the district reliably votes blue by the largest margins of any district in Minnesota, Omar has attracted a large number of primary challengers.

DFL

  • Ilhan Omar Incumbent  Endorsed 
  • Representative from the Fifth District, Omar was first elected in 2018. Prior to being elected to Congress, Omar was a member of the DFL House of Representatives and was Assistant Minority Leader of the DFL caucus. In Congress, Omar has been a prominent member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where she serves as whip, championing policies like the Green New Deal and seeking to reshape U.S. foreign policy from the left.

    From: Minneapolis

    Campaign website: https://www.ilhanomar.com/

    Incumbent

    Endorsed by DFL Party

    Close

Republican

  • Lacy Johnson  Endorsed 
  • The endorsed MNGOP candidate for Minnesota's Fifth District. Johnson previously ran as a Republican in the heavily blue Minnesota legislative District 59B. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. He has worked as a technical writer at Hennepin County, as well as at several companies including: Control Data, General Electric, Bell Atlantic, and Northwest Airlines

    From: Minneapolis

    Campaign website: https://www.lacyjohnson.com/

    Endorsed by Republican Party

    Close

Congressional District 6

Rep. Tom Emmer was first elected in this central Minnesota distict in 2014, succeeding retiring Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann. Emmer is chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, tasked with electing Republicans nationwide. As for his own election, central Minnesota’s Sixth District leans heavily Republican, making Emmer the heavy favorite to win re-election here.

Republican

  • Tom Emmer Incumbent  Endorsed 
  • Representative from the Sixth District, first elected in 2014. Emmer currently serves in Republican leadership as the Chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House campaign arm of the Republican Party. Emmer was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011, and the Republican nominee for governor in 2010.

    From: St. Cloud

    Campaign website: https://emmerforcongress.com/

    Incumbent

    Endorsed by Republican Party

    Close

DFL

Congressional District 7

Conventional political wisdom in Minnesota has said Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson can hold on to the otherwise deeply red Seventh District as long as he wants to. But over the course of the last few elections, Peterson’s victories have gotten narrower and narrower. The primary field of Republicans looking to challenge him is crowded, and features both David Hughes, who lost to Peterson in 2018 by less than five points and former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, who was recruited by national Republicans to run for the seat.

DFL

  • Collin Peterson Incumbent  Endorsed 
  • Representative from the Seventh District, Peterson, who’s served in Congress since 1991, is the last original Blue Dog Democrat, a coalition of conservative-leaning Democrats. Peterson chairs the House Aggriculture Committee and is noted as an ally of the sugarbeet industry.

    From: Detroit Lakes

    Campaign website: https://www.petersonforcongress.com/

    Incumbent

    Endorsed by DFL Party

    Close

Republican

  • Michelle Fischbach  Endorsed 
  • The endorsed MNGOP candidate for Minnesota's Seventh District. The 49th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, Fischbach was recruited by Rep. Tom Emmer to run. She represented the 13th District in the Minnesota Senate from 1996 to 2018, and was president of the Senate from 2011 to 2013 and 2017 to 2018. Fischbach has aligned herself with President Trump.

    From: Paynesville

    Campaign website: https://www.fischbachforcongress.com/

    Endorsed by Republican Party

    Close

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Congressional District 8

Northern Minnesota was long seen as a DFL stronghold, but that idea was shattered when Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack defeated longtime incumbent DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar amid the Tea Party wave of 2010. Two years later, Rep. Rick Nolan (who had represented the area in the ’70s) took the seat back for Democrats. But after Nolan retired in 2018, former Duluth policeman Rep. Pete Stauber was able to win the seat back for Republicans. Can he keep the district red in 2020?

Republican

  • Pete Stauber Incumbent  Endorsed 
  • Representative from the Eighth District, Stauber was first elected in 2018 after defeating DFLer Joe Radinovich in the wake of DFL Rep. Rick Nolan’s retirement. Though generally a reliable vote for Trump and congressional Republicans, Stauber’s press releases tout bipartisan legislation and bills that bring dollars back to the district.

    From: Duluth

    Campaign website: https://petestauberforcongress.com/

    Incumbent

    Endorsed by Republican Party

    Close

DFL

  • Quinn Nystrom  Endorsed 
  • The endorsed DFL candidate for Minnesota's Eighth District. Nystrom is an insulin affordability advocate running in the Eighth District. Rick Nolan, the former DFL-congressman who represented the district, has endorsed Nystrom. Nystrom has made health care affordability the central tenet of her campaign.

    From: Brainerd

    Campaign website: https://quinnforcongress.com/

    Endorsed by DFL Party

    Close

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