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Empty Minnesota seat, 'Squad' member in primary highlight Tuesday elections

There are several things to watch in the House and Senate races in Minnesota. Here’s a rundown.

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Minnesota DFL U.S. Reps. Angie Craig, Betty McCollum, Ilhan Omar and Dean Phillips.
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WASHINGTON —Voters on Tuesday are filling a House seat in Minnesota that’s been open since Rep. Jim Hagedorn died in February. And, just like last week, a member of “The Squad” of ultraliberal House Democrats faces a more mainstream challenger.

There are several things to watch in the House and Senate races in Minnesota. Here’s a rundown.

Rematch set: Democratic Rep. Angie Craig and Republican Tyler Kistner, a Marine Corps veteran, are both unopposed in their Tuesday primaries, setting up a 2020 rematch in Minnesota’s 2nd District. Craig won that race by 2 points.

Craig, who is in her second term, has outraised Kistner and has a significant cash advantage. She reported raising $5.2 million as of July 20 and had $4.7 million on hand, while Kistner raised $2.2 million and had $552,000 on hand. Both candidates will have party support: Craig is a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee “Frontliner,” while Kistner is a National Republican Congressional Committee “Young Gun.” Super PACs affiliated with both House Democrats and Republicans have separately reserved ad time in the Minneapolis-St. Paul media market for the fall.

Inside Elections rates the race as Tilt Democratic.

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Phillips’ challenger made official: Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips is running unopposed Tuesday for Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District, as is his Republican challenger, Tom Weiler, a Navy veteran.

Phillips is an NRCC target this cycle, although President Joe Biden won the district by 21 points in 2020. He raised $1.8 million and had $788,000 on hand as of July 20, while Weiler raised $405,000 and had $234,000 on hand. Inside Elections rates the race as Solid Democratic.

A special and a primary: Republican Brad Finstad faces Democrat Jeffrey Ettinger in Minnesota’s 1st District special election for the remaining months of Hagedorn’s term. Inside Elections rates the race as Solid Republican.

Finstad and Ettinger are also on their respective parties’ primary ballots Tuesday seeking a full term beginning next year. Finstad faces state Rep. Jeremy Munson, one of the several Republicans he defeated in the May 24 special election primary.

Ettinger, a former Hormel Foods executive, faces Democrats George Kalberer and James Rainwater.

More Nation/World coverage:

Omar’s turn: Rep. Ilhan Omar, a member of “The Squad,” faces four challengers in Minnesota’s 5th District primary Tuesday. Former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels is the best poised to defeat the two-term Democrat. Still, that won’t be easy. Omar raised $2.4 million as of July 20, more than double the $1.1 million Samuels reported raising. Samuels has received endorsements from several Minnesota mayors and former state Democratic Farm Labor chairs but hasn’t received any congressional endorsements, as Omar has. Inside Elections rates the race as Solid Democratic. In last week’s challenge to a Squad member, Missouri Rep. Cori Bush beat state Sen. Steve Roberts by 43 points.

Challenge to ‘status quo’: Rep. Betty McCollum, who’s been in the House for more than 20 years and represents Minnesota’s 4th District, faces Amane Badhasso, a community organizer whose family fled violence in Ethiopia when she was a child. McCollum, who chairs the Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, reported raising $1.7 million and had $681,000 on hand, while Badhasso raised $827,000 and had $200,000 on hand as of July 20. Badhasso told MinnPost earlier this year that her campaign is focused on “replacing a status quo politician” and is less about political ideology. Inside Elections rates the race as Solid Democratic.

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©2022 CQ-Roll Call, Inc., All Rights Reserved. Visit cqrollcall.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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