The race in Minnesota’s first Congressional District and what's next at the Capitol

Two men side by side
Jeff Ettinger, left, and Brad Finstad, right.
Mark Zdechlik | MPR News

The special primary election in Minnesota’s first Congressional District this week narrowed the field of candidates for an August special election.

Republican Brad Finstad came out on top in his party and Jeff Ettinger won the DFL primary.

Now they’ll compete in a special election in August to determine who fills the remaining months of former Rep. Jim Hagedorn’s term. Hagedorn died in February after battling cancer. 

And the Legislature ended its session after lawmakers missed a deadline to pass major tax and spending bills. Some Republicans say the work can wait until after the November election, while Democrats want a special session. 

MPR News host Mike Mulcahy talks to Brad Finstad and Jeff Ettinger about how they won their parties' nominations and how the next round of the campaign is shaping up. Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen also will join Mike to talk about what he thinks should happen to Minnesota’s budget surplus and DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman will weigh in on a special session.


  • Brad Finstad is a Republican candidate for Congress.

  • Jeff Ettinger is a DFL candidate for Congress.

  • Dr. Scott Jensen is Republican candidate for governor.

  • Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) is Speaker of the Minnesota House.

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.