2022 Minnesota Election Preview: Congressional Races

Date: November 02, 2022

All 8 U.S. House Seats Are On Ballot This Year

Last month, we previewed the races for Governor and Attorney General, as well as the State Legislature, in Minnesota.

Now, we’ll take a look at the eight U.S. House seats on ballots across the state this year.

Minnesota’s Congressional Races

Minnesota narrowly held onto its U.S. House of Representatives seats following the 2020 U.S. Census, beating out New York by 89 people for an eighth seat. In early 2022, the Minnesota Supreme Court released Congressional redistricting maps that reshaped each seat but largely left the partisan makeup of each the same. Check out the new map here.

Like the previous map used from 2012 to 2020, six of the eight seats have a significant built-in advantage for Republicans or Democrats. One seat (MN-01) leans Republican, and another (MN-02) is a true toss-up seat.

All eight U.S. House seats are on the ballot this year. Below is a quick preview of each race and how it’s rated in independent analysis.

District 1 (Southern Minnesota): This congressional seat was held by Governor Walz from 2006 until 2018, when Walz ran for governor and the late Congressman Jim Hagedorn won a narrow victory. Hagedorn, a friend of small business, was re-elected in 2020 in a tight race and passed away after a long battle with cancer in February 2022.

In August, Brad Finstad won a special election to fill the remainder of Congressman Hagedorn’s term. Finstad defeated former Hormel executive Jeff Ettinger. They will face off again for a full two-year term on November 8. This races also features candidates from two pro-marijuana legalization parties.

The race is rated ‘Likely Republican’ by Cook Political Report.

District 2 (Southern Twin Cities, Minnesota River Valley): This seat has been held by Rep. Angie Craig since 2018. Prior to her election, it was held by Republicans John Kline and Jason Lewis for a combined 16 years.

In 2020, Craig narrowly won re-election over first-time candidate Tyler Kistner. She faces a rematch with Kistner, a former Marine and small business owner, this year.

This race took a sad and eerily familiar turn as Paula Overby, the Legal Marijuana Now candidate, passed away. Overby will continue to appear on the ballot. Overby – who made several third party runs over the years – took nearly 8 percent in a tight race between Lewis and Craig in 2016.

In 2020, LMN candidate Adam Weeks passed away unexpectedly about a month before the election. Weeks continued to appear on ballots and received nearly 6 percent of the vote.

The race is rated ‘Toss Up’ by Cook Political Report.

District 3 (Western Twin Cities): After a half-century of sending Republicans to Congress, the 3rd Congressional District voted for businessman Dean Phillips in 2018. Phillips, who founded Talenti Gelato and Penny’s Coffeeshops, comfortably won re-election in 2020.

Phillips faces first-time candidate Tom Weiler, a retired Naval submarine officer.

The race is rated ‘Solid Democratic’ by Cook Political Report.

District 4 (St. Paul & Near Suburbs): Not quite as blue as its neighbor to the west, this St. Paul-centric congressional seat has been held by Rep. Betty McCollum since 2000. McCollum has so far avoided serious challenges from within her party and won comfortably over Republican opponents.

McCollum faces first-time candidate May Lor Xiong, an ESL instructor in St. Paul Public Schools.

The race is rated ‘Solid Democratic’ by Cook Political Report.

District 5 (Minneapolis & Near Suburbs): Long a deep blue spot on Minnesota’s Congressional Map, this seat elected Rep. Ilhan Omar in 2018. One of the most liberal members of Congress, Omar’s biggest competition to date has been in DFL primaries.

She handily won an expensive primary contest in 2020, but barely survived – by 2 points – a better organized challenge from former Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels this year. Samuels narrowed the gap in Minneapolis and outperformed past challengers in the first-ring suburbs outside the city.

Samuels also came into the race with strong name recognition. In addition to twelve years on the city council, he also previously served on the Minneapolis School Board. Along with his wife, Samuels was a lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the city to force it to hire more police officers in the aftermath of the 2020 riots.

Omar faces first-time candidate Cicely Davis this year.

The race is rated ‘Solid Democratic’ by Cook Political Report.

District 6 (St. Cloud, Central Minnesota): This district has been held by Tom Emmer since 2014. In Congress, Emmer has compiled a strong pro-small business voting record.

Emmer, an attorney and former state legislator, has won by comfortable margins in this increasingly red district. He faces Jeanne Hendricks this year.

The race is rated ‘Solid Republican’ by Cook Political Report.

District 7 (Western Minnesota): Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach defeated longtime Rep. Colin Peterson in 2020.

An attorney, Fischbach previously served for nearly two decades in the Minnesota Senate, including several terms as Senate President. She was also the Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota from 2018 to 2019.

Fischbach faces Democrat Jill Abahsain and Legal Marijuana Now candidate Travis Johnson this year.

The race is rated ‘Solid Republican’ by Cook Political Report.

District 8 (Northeastern Minnesota): Rep. Pete Stauber is seeking a third term in this politically evolving district. Stauber, a former professional hockey player, lieutenant in the Duluth Police Department, and small business owner, first won in 2018. He was comfortably re-elected in 2018.

He faces retiring state Representative Jennifer Schultz. Schultz is a professor at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and a single-payer healthcare advocate.

The race is rated ‘Solid Republican’ by Cook Political Report.

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Find your polling place and candidates in your area at the Minnesota Voter Information Portal. And learn more about the 2022 Election at NFIB’s Elections Center.

Related Content: Small Business News | Minnesota

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