Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig is trying to maintain her Second Congressional District seat against Republican challenger Tyler Kistner in a swing district race clouded by legal confusion that is likely to continue.
The timing of the election was up in the air after Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate Adam Weeks’ death. The secretary of state initially announced the contest would be bumped to February. Craig successfully challenged that decision in court and the race was returned to Nov. 3. There was no clear outcome by the print deadline.
Kistner has continued to call for a February special election. His attorney is scheduled to make that case in court a few days after Election Day. The impact of the ongoing court battle on Tuesday’s outcome remains to be seen.
Craig had just a 154-vote lead over Kistner, with all precincts reporting Tuesday night. Absentee ballots, which have not all been counted, could affect that total. Weeks was also drawing a sizable number of votes.
Craig is a freshman representative and former health care manufacturing company executive who has campaigned on her record of working across the aisle and trying to address health care costs. She proposed a public insurance option and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Kistner is a first-time candidate who served in the Marine Corps. He has sounded a similar bipartisan message, pitching himself as an independent thinker who would not be beholden to special-interest groups.
The district includes much of the Twin Cities’ southern suburbs and extends southeast past Wabasha. Craig flipped the seat from GOP control in 2018. Republican Jason Lewis previously represented the area, which had been in GOP hands since 2001.