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1st Congressional District candidate Jeff Ettinger tests positive for COVID

1st District race taking center stage at Farmfest
1st District race taking center stage at Farmfest 01:43

REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. -- One of the candidates on the ballot for next week's primary elections was unable to participate in a forum Tuesday morning after testing positive for COVID-19.

The 1st Congressional District candidate forum was held at Farmfest in Redwood Falls. But Democratic candidate Jeff Ettinger was unable to participate.

Ettinger said Tuesday that he had taken all precautions, including being fully vaccinated, but still tested positive.

"I am committed to the vitality of our farm economy and am disappointed that I will not be able to attend the event," he tweeted.

Ettinger, former Hormel Foods chief executive, will be representing the Democratic ticket against Republican former U.S Department of Agriculture official Brad Finstad in a special election to finish the term of the late GOP U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn.

While the Aug. 9 special election will determine who will finish the last few months of Hagedorn's term, the stakes are likely higher than that, with the winners expecting a bump in their chances to win a full term in November.

The district stretches across Minnesota's southern border, and is mostly rural and agricultural except for big population centers in Mankato and Rochester.

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