Minnesota Republicans endorsed congressional candidates Tyler Kistner, a Marine Corps veteran, and former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach during two conventions held online Saturday.
Kistner easily earned the endorsement to take on first-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig in the Second Congressional District. Meanwhile, in the Seventh Congressional District race, Fischbach faced a drawn-out competition before securing her party's support. She will be up against Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson in November.
Kistner headed into the Second District convention with momentum, after the National Republican Congressional Committee added him to its "Young Guns" program and he significantly outraised four other Republicans vying for the endorsement.
"People want something fresh," said Kistner, who said he brings something unique to the race as a millennial. He won the endorsement in the first round of balloting. He was competing with former state Rep. Regina Barr, Air Force veteran Erika Cashin, former Michigan state Rep. Rick Olson and attorney and businessman Kerry Zeiler.
Fischbach was also selected for the "Young Guns," which the party uses to recruit and develop candidates in high-profile races around the country. She previously served 22 years in the state Senate and was briefly lieutenant governor at the end of former Gov. Mark Dayton's term, after he appointed his then-Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to Congress. She was former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's running mate for his 2018 gubernatorial bid.
"I'm proud to have President Trump's complete and total endorsement," said Fischbach, who was one of five seeking the endorsement. She won after eight rounds of balloting. Dave Hughes, a retired Air Force major, received the second most support.