Hagedorn claims win over Feehan

FAIRMONT — Republican Jim Hagedorn has emerged as the victor in the race to replace outgoing Congressman Tim Walz in southern Minnesota.

“I appreciate the faith and confidence the people of southern Minnesota have shown in me, and I am honored to have the opportunity to represent them in Congress,” Hagedorn said.

Hagedorn and Democrat Dan Feehan were locked in a back-and-forth battle for votes on Tuesday night before the issue was finally settled in the overnight hours Wednesday. According to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website, Hagedorn squeaked out the win, receiving 146,202 votes to Feehan’s 144,891. In percentage terms, Hagedorn won, 50.13 percent to 49.68 percent.

Hagedorn has made several tries at the office, losing twice to Walz, including in 2016 by the narrowest of margins, a situation he reversed Wednesday.

Hagedorn issued a press release Wednesday morning saying that the 1,311 vote margin is outside the automatic recount threshold of one-quarter of one percent found in Minnesota state law. According to the Secretary of State’s website, there is a provision that would allow a recount if Feehan is willing to pay for it.

The Feehan campaign issued a release Wednesday afternoon stating that because the vote was so close, the campaign believes it is important to receive the official results that county canvass officers will release in coming days.

“As the race is approximately 500 votes away from triggering a recount, the campaigns owe it to the voters in the First Congressional District to wait until official results are in,” the campaign said in its statement.

Hagedorn won in 16 of 21 counties, securing more than 60 percent of the vote in six counties, including Martin County, which is home to Fairmont.

Hagedorn is set to replace Walz, a Democrat who gave up the seat to run for governor in Minnesota. Walz was elected to that office Tuesday night.