MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The race in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District is a rematch from two years ago. Democrat Dan Feehan is running against GOP incumbent Jim Hagedorn.

The district covers the southern part of Minnesota, including cities like Worthington, Mankato, and Rochester.

In 2018, Rep. Hagedorn won by less than half of a percentage point.

The race’s tightness can be observed in the conflicting political yard signs in Mankato. Christopher Oachs and Haily Story Steinbach are roommates with differing views, but it hasn’t affected their friendship.

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“I still know his core values,” Steinbach said. “We’re both really good people. We just think things need to go in different directions.”

Virjean Griensewic proudly displays DFL signs outside her house, a few doors down from a home with prominent Republican support.

“I’m glad we have a country where we can decide what we want to be,” Griensewic said. “Might lose a few friends or something but you try and avoid that.”

The campaigns of Hagedorn and Feehan have, at times, felt more combative than that.

Hagedorn’s been criticized for possible ethics and campaign finance violations. He’s said he’s done nothing wrong and accused Feehan of inappropriately accepting money. Feehan says it’s not true.

“They can dig up something bad about everyone,” said Bill Dobbs of Saint Peter.

Dobbs is more concerned with Democrats potentially packing the Supreme Court than anything. He also knows the Hagedorns personally.

“They’re solid people,” Dobbs said. “I trust them. They’ll do the best they can.”

Griensewic sees Hagedorn as an outsider to the area who grew up in Washington D.C. with his politician father, so it’s time for someone new.

“I think Feehan is nice, young blood with new ideas, had some time in the service and was also a teacher,” she said.

In 2016, every county in the congressional district went for President Donald Trump, except Olmsted County where Rochester is located.

David Schuman

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