Minnesota Democratic Rep. Angie Craig wins re-election against Republican challenger

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Angie Craig has been re-elected to represent Minnesota’s 2nd District in what turned out to be a closely contested 2020 race.

The Fox News Decision Desk called the race on Thursday after Republican challenger Tyler Kistner received 46% of the vote while Craig received 48.2% with 100% of precincts reporting. Craig unofficially declared victory on Wednesday while some votes were still being counted.

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“It has been the honor of my lifetime to represent the people of #MN02,” Craig tweeted on Wednesday. “I am so grateful to the people of this district for giving me an opportunity to return to Congress to continue this important work – and I look forward to fighting for them in the 117th Congress.”

Craig unseated former Republican Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis, who lost Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race to freshman Democratic Sen. Tina Smith on Wednesday, in 2018. President Trump signed two bills Craig authored while serving her first term, including one to extend Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kistner is a first-time Republican congressional candidate and former Marine who has called to defend, rather than defund, police amid civil unrest in Minneapolis-St. Paul that occurred after the death of George Floyd in May.

The 2nd Congressional District race has been anything but smooth since third-party candidate Adam Weeks died in late September, prompting Minnesota State Secretary Steve Simon to announce that the race would be delayed until February in accordance with state law.

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Craig filed a federal lawsuit on Sept. 28 challenging the delay, and on Oct. 9, a federal judge ruled that the race could proceed. The court noted Craig’s argument, which said federal law takes precedence over state laws, was likely to succeed.

“Given the overwhelming importance for Minnesota’s Second Congressional District voters to be able to vote in the November general election and to have uninterrupted representation in the United States Congress, the public interest weighs in favor of granting Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction,” U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright wrote in her decision.

Kistner’s campaign has continued to challenge the decision in a case that may not be settled until days after the election, according to the Star Tribune, the state’s largest newspaper.

Polls showed Craig leading Kistner in the days before the Nov. 3 election. The first-time Republican candidate held rallies in every county in the 2nd District ahead of Election Day to attract more voters, the Star Tribune reported.

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