MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Political candidates consider the Minnesota State Fair a critical time to meet with Minnesotans.

Read More: WCCO’s 2018 Election Guide

The Republican Party of Minnesota hosted a Congressional panel Saturday afternoon featuring candidates from some of the tightest races in the state.

(credit: CBS)

Jim Hagedorn is running in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, David Hughes in the 7th and Pete Stauber in the 8th.

Stauber is running for the open seat vacated by Congressman Rick Nolan.

“When I first entered this race, I personally called my Congressman, Nolan, and I said, ‘Congressman Nolan, I am running. I am not going to make this about personal attacks because I think this country is sick and tired of that. But I will make it against, about the issues, the striking different of what you stand for and what I believe in,’” Stauber said. “He looked at me, or he listened, and said, ‘Pete, that’s fair enough.'”

The state Republican Party considers the 1st and 8th District seats the biggest pick-up opportunities for national Republicans in Congress.