Published: 10:41 a.m. Oct. 5 | Updated: 3:25 p.m. Oct. 7
Minnesota has eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and all of them are up for election this fall. Of those eight, the race for the 2nd Congressional District is among the most watched House campaigns in the country.
The southern Twin Cities suburbs are currently represented in Congress by U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, a Democrat. There are two challengers on the ballot: Republican candidate Tyler Kistner, whom she defeated in 2020, and Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate Paula Overby.
Overby, who was a Independence Party candidate in 2016 before becoming the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate this year, died on Oct. 5. Her name will still appear on ballots and the election will proceed as scheduled, according to a statement from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office. If someone has already voted for Overby using an absentee ballot, they can get it back and change their vote up to Nov. 1, Secretary of State Steve Simon said.
Craig lost her first race in 2016 to Republican Jason Lewis by 6,655 votes. In 2018, she defeated Lewis. In 2020 she faced Kistner and won by less than 10,000 votes. It was one of 89 congressional races in the country decided by 10 percentage points or less that year.
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Here’s where each candidate stands on the top issues for Minnesotans.
Craig: She supports full abortion access and voted to codify Roe v. Wade at the federal level. She helped pass the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act to protect the right to travel for abortion care.
Kistner: He has said he is “100 percent pro-life.” This summer, he said he does support exceptions in cases of rape or when a pregnant person's life is in danger, and in June he said the states should decide abortion restrictions.
Crime, police and public safety
Craig: She does not support defunding the police. She says police officers need “all of the tools, resources and funding to do their important work.” She has co-sponsored the Invest to Protect Act to increase funding for small and mid-size police departments and the Pathways to Policing Act for recruitment programs.
Kistner: He said “The ‘defund the police’ movement has made America more dangerous and our communities less safe for Minnesotans and their families.” He says recruitment and retention of police officers is key.
Economy and tax policy
Craig: She said she is “doing everything to lower costs and get the economy back on track.”
Kistner: He said he wants to decrease government spending, control inflation and strengthen the supply chain.
Craig: She said public schools should be fully funded and “give students a range of opportunities after they graduate high school.”
Environment and climate change
Craig: She said climate change deeply affects Minnesotans and she wants to strengthen “renewable energy sources, create sustainable jobs well into the future and tackle climate change head on.”
Kistner: MPR News could not find recent public comment on the issue.
Farming and rural Minnesota
Craig: She is a member of the House Agriculture Committee and said she works every day "to ensure the Minnesota family farmers and rural communities who feed, clothe and fuel America have a seat at the table.”
Kistner: He said he believes “farmers need trade deals that are fair and give full access to new markets.” He also said it should be a priority to expand rural telecommunications infrastructure.
Craig: She said she is a gun owner and in favor of the Second Amendment, but “there is more to do to ensure no American has to worry about their loved one being killed in an act of senseless violence.”
Craig: She said she supports affordable health care access for all.
Kistner: He said he believes in health care reform and utilizing health savings accounts. He is against “government controlled, single payer health care.”
Craig: She supports border security and reforming the immigration system as well as creating easier paths of citizenship for “Dreamers,” people who were brought to the U.S. without documentation as children.
The 2020 Election
Craig: She said that President Donald Trump “lied” to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrectionists and “summoned them to Washington based on a lie … he betrayed his oath of office.”
Kistner: In 2020, a spokesperson from Kistner's campaign initially declined to answer questions about whether or not Kistner believed Biden legitimately won the election. On Oct. 6, 2022, Kistner’s campaign told MPR News that Kistner affirms the results of the 2020 election.