DFL U.S. Rep. Angie Craig defeats Republican Tyler Kistner

A woman with dark hair wearing a blue suit jacket
Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig poses for a portrait at Minnesota Public Radio on Nov. 11, 2019 in St. Paul.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News 2019

Updated: 12:30 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig has defeated Republican Tyler Kistner in Minnesota’s swing 2nd District.

Craig won the seat in 2018 by ousting Republican U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis in a rematch of their 2016 race, in a year that control of the House flipped from Republicans to Democrats. She was a former medical technology executive and former newspaper reporter before turning to politics. She was Minnesota’s first openly gay member of Congress.

Kistner, a veteran making his first run for office, campaigned on the slogan “Send in the Marine.” He served four overseas tours during his nine years as a Marine Corps officer. He conceded the 2nd District race to Craig, saying he is “humbled and honored by all the support I have received from Minnesotans” in the district.

"I am heading out to drill with the Marine Corps Forces Reserves for the next few weeks,” the Republican said in a statement Thursday. “I will be announcing my future plans very soon, this is not the end of the movement we have started.”

A spokesperson for Kistner said he is not abandoning a federal court appeal over the timing of the election.

The death of a third-party candidate on the ballot threatened to delay the election by three months. But the courts sided with Craig and declared that federal law setting uniform November election dates trumped a Minnesota law that would have required a special election Feb. 9.

Still, even in death, Adam Weeks of the Legal Marijuana Now Party drew nearly 6 percent of the vote, which was around three times Craig's margin of victory.

The district includes a band of suburbs south of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as rural areas south of them. President Donald Trump narrowly won the district in 2016, but Joe Biden carried it this time.

MPR News reporter Brian Bakst contributed to this story.

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