EAGAN, MN — First-term Congresswoman Angie Craig is hoping that the voters of Minnesota’s Second District re-elect her over Republican challenger Tyler Kistner. This is the third time Craig has run to represent her district in the U.S. House.
In 2016, Craig — a Democrat — narrowly lost to Republican Jason Lewis. In 2018, Craig handily defeated Lewis, denying him a second term. However, the 2020 race in the Second District has been unlike any before it in recent history.
Democrat Angie Craig: 152,366 votes
Republican Tyler Kistner: 156,450 votes
Note: It’s unclear exactly when the unofficial vote count will be complete in Minnesota. “When citizens see that on election night we don’t have 100 percent of the results in, it is literally by design. This is the plan,” Secretary of State Steve Simon said in an online news conference in October.
“It’s not evidence that anyone is hiding or concealing or rigging or stealing. It’s evidence of the actual plan.” So if all of the state’s races aren’t called by the end of the night, do not be alarmed or surprised.
The date of the U.S. House election was thrown into question when Adam Weeks, who was running as the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate in the district, died in September.
Voters in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District can expect the date of their U.S. House election to remain Nov. 3, thanks to a decision from the nation’s highest court.
On Oct. 27, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch rejected an appeal from Republican Tyler Kistner, who had sought to delay the election in the 2nd District.
Kistner fought to delay the election after Weeks died.
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Under state law, a special election would be held in February, Secretary of State Steve Simon confirmed following Weeks’ death. However, Democratic Rep. Angie Craig’s campaign filed a lawsuit Sept. 28 in order to prevent a delay.
Her campaign argued that Minnesota’s law on special elections conflicts with federal law. On Oct. 9, a federal judge ruled in Craig’s favor, granting an injunction and forcing the election back to the original date of Nov. 3. And on Friday, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion from Kistner to delay the election int0 2021.
Kistner vowed to appeal Friday’s ruling to the Supreme Court, but the decision from Justice Gorsuch last week means the Republican challenger is out of options.
Report: GOP Recruited Weed Candidate To Help Defeat Angie Craig
A new report finds that Republicans pushed Weeks to run for Congress as a third-party candidate in Minnesota’s 2nd District. Read more.
Both Craig and Kistner have billed themselves as pragmatic candidates who know the people of the Second District intimately. They diverge on several key issues, however, including the coronavirus pandemic and health care.
Neither candidate supports defunding the police. Craig is far more supportive of police departments than some of her more progressive colleagues, including Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minneapolis.
“While I am fully supportive of efforts to address systemic racism and reform our criminal justice system, I do not support defunding the police,” Craig told Patch in her candidate profile.
“In fact, I voted twice to increase funding for our local police departments for community oriented policing. Our country needs both a more just law enforcement system and our valued police officers to truly keep our communities safe. And I believe that we can accomplish both of those goals if we work together.”
Kistner takes a more conservative positive, telling Patch that he wants to “restrict cities, not police departments, that defund/abolish their police departments from receiving federal grant money.”
On police reform, Kistner says that “having national standards and an expansion of training would be a good way to fix some issues that some police departments are having and can be beneficial to local communities as well.”
When asked about the COVID-19 pandemic, Kistner told Patch he wants to “fully re-open our economy back up” and “get folks back to work.”
Craig told Patch in September that “the top priority for any elected official at this time must be supporting efforts to contain and combat the global health pandemic that has taken the lives of nearly 200,000 Americans nationwide.”
Craig said she “consistently urged my colleagues to act swiftly and aggressively to provide the resources and funding necessary to enact a nationwide testing and contact-tracing plan, provide sufficient personal protective equipment to the millions of employees working on the frontlines, and invest all the resources necessary to develop and distribute effective treatments and vaccines as soon as possible.”
She added that “we must continue to support our families, our small businesses, health care professionals, first responders and our family farmers as they continue to face the threat of COVID-19. Millions of hardworking Americans across the country are struggling right now. It’s our job in Congress to do everything we can to support them and rebuild an economy that keeps the American dream alive.”
This article originally appeared on the Eagan Patch