MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Donald Trump will hold a rally Thursday in Rochester where he will be campaigning for the 1st Congressional District nominee Jim Hagedorn.
You may wonder why the President would be campaigning in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, which includes not only Rochester, but stretches along the Minnesota-Iowa border all the way to South Dakota.
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The reason he is coming is because the 1st District is one of four Minnesota swing districts that could determine if Republicans continue to control the U.S. House.
At a debate in Owatonna this week, both Republican Jim Hagedorn and Democrat Dan Feehan were focused on the President’s visit.
“It’s awesome. We are excited. It’s going to be a great rally,” Hagedorn said.
“The fact that the President of the United States is taking a day off of his actual job to come to campaign in southern Minnesota tells me this is not a gimme for them,” Feehan said.
For the past 12 years, the seat has been held by Democrat Tim Walz who left Congress to run for Governor.
In 2016, Walz beat Hagedorn by less than 3,000 votes while President Trump carried the District by 15 percentage points. That’s why, with Hagedorn running again, Republicans think they can win.
“President Trump sees that as a big pick up opportunity on that he’s willing to invest his time in seizing,” Professor Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey School said.
But with control of Congress at stake, both parties have been pouring money into commercials.
Hagedorn, a former treasury official and conservative blogger, is making his fourth run for the Congressional seat and is a strong Trump supporter.
“We pretty much match up. We ran parallel campaigns in 2016. My purpose is to get out there and partner with him,” Hagedorn said.
Feehan, a former teacher and soldier who served two tours of duty in Iraq, is also a former acting assistant Secretary of Defense under President Obama.
“This election, this year is a referendum on people’s livelihoods and whether or not there is a message or a will to make them better,” Feehan said.
Hagedorn will be flying with the President to Rochester. According to his campaign, he will be speaking at the rally Thursday. Hagedorn is engaged to the Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan.