(The Center Square) – Former Trump U.S. Department of Agriculture official Brad Finstad and the DFL-endorsed former Hormel Foods CEO Jeffrey Ettinger will face off in August to decide who will fill the Southern Minnesota seat of Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died of cancer in February.
The Associated Press hasn’t called the race, but the winning margin exceeds the percentage to trigger a publicly funded recount.
Finstad declared victory in a Wednesday statement.
“I am honored to have the backing of voters across southern Minnesota,” he said. “The race in this special election will provide a clear contrast.”
“I will work to slash inflation, get control of the border, restore American energy independence, and put our families first,” Finstad said.
Ettinger dominated the Democratic primary with 64% or 12,261 votes, trailed by Sarah Brakebill-Hacke trailed with 13.2% or 2,524 votes.
Finstad won the Republican nomination with 38% or 13,835 votes, edging out State Rep. Jeremy Munson of Crystal lake by 389 votes. Hagedorn’s widow and former Minnesota Republican Chair Jennifer Carnahan received 8% or 2,928 votes.
In August, Finstad will face Ettinger to decide who will briefly fill Minnesota’s southern congressional district until the November general election.
The election hasn’t yet been canvassed.