MANKATO — With Blue Earth resident Jim Hagedorn's surprise announcement Sunday he will re-enter the Republican race for Minnesota's 1st Congressional District, a competitive Aug. 12 election is now looming for 1st District Republican voters.
Hagedorn is facing down Republican candidate Aaron Miller of Byron, who won the 1st District Republican endorsement at the April 5 convention. Both candidates are seeking to be the official Republican candidate to challenge Democrat incumbent Rep. Tim Walz of Mankato.
Given each candidate's relative spheres of influence, it appears likely the primary battle will become a struggle of east versus west this year.
Miller dominated the delegates from the densely populated Olmsted County, who were essential for Miller's endorsement victory. The county contains Rochester, the district's most populous city.
Miller also drew heavy support from Steele County, Dodge County and portions of Mower County. However, his most adamant supporters hail from the less populous areas of Fillmore and Winona counties.
Hagedorn dominated the delegates from Blue Earth County. Mankato, the district's second most populous city, is the county seat.
He also drew support in Nicollet County, Faribault County, Martin County and portions of Brown County.
Waseca County had delegates split between the two candidates
Despite their relative strength with these delegates, it remains to be seen how the candidates fair in the wider primary voting pool.
Both candidates took distinct approaches in their fundraising and spending over the period of July 1, 2013, to March 31, which preceeded the endorsement convention.
Miller raised $32,000 from individual contributions this election. He raised $152,007 total this period. However, the overall total includes a series of $40,000 loans Miller gave his campaign each quarter before quickly paying them off. The majority of his individual donors were from Byron or Rochester.
He spent $28,843 in operating expenditures this period. The majority of his spending was $21,330 for campaign consulting from Campaign Communications, which is connected to his campaign adviser Brad Biers.