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Rep. Angie Craig Declares Victory In Tight 2nd District Race

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Democrat incumbent Angie Craig has declared victory in Minnesota's very close 2nd congressional district.

As of yet, the Associated Press has not made a projection in the race, but with 100% of the precincts reporting, Craig leads 202,597 to Republican challenger Tyler Kistner's 193,505.

"Over the past two years, I have tried to live up to that standard in Washington as I fought to lower the cost of health care, expand educational opportunities for young Minnesotans and create an economy that works for every American regardless of zip code," she said in a statement. "While it took longer than expected, I have said throughout this race that every voter in our district must have an opportunity to make their voices heard – and I am so thankful to the tireless election judges that counted votes throughout the night to ensure that was the case."

Kistner responded saying that his team would continue to monitor the results of the "extremely close" race.

"Because of the unknown number of how many ballots are still outstanding, we owe it to the voters who waited for hours to cast their ballots before making any final judgements on this race," he said. "I am humbled and honored by all the support I have received."

It was one of Minnesota's most competitive congressional districts for the last few years, and stretches south from the suburbs of Eagan and Prior Lake to the farmlands of Goodhue and Wabasha counties.

WEB EXTRA: Click here for full election results.

WCCO has some perspective on how this race went down.

From the bustling suburb of Burnsville, to the quaint town of Hastings and the scenic views of Red Wing, the 2nd congressional district has differing landscapes and political opinions.

Marcus Dean of Burnsville says he voted for Craig: "I'm middle class, so I vote democratic mostly, tend to go that way."

Jerry Swanson voted for Kistner, "Tyler stopped by here and he was in military ... I was impressed with him."

After what appears to be a narrow victory, incumbent Craig thanked her supporters.

"I believe with all of my heart that we have more in common than we have apart," she said Wednesday.

Craig ran as a moderate who gets things done.

"President Trump has recently signed two of my bills into law, that's as many as any other member of the Minnesota delegation and more than any other freshman member," Craig told WCCO in a recent interview.

Kistner -- a former Marine -- argued Craig is no moderate.

"When you look at the facts, she votes 97% of the time with Nancy Pelosi and almost 90% of the time with Ilhan Omar," Kistner said.

The 2nd district has become a swing district. President Trump narrowly won the district in 2016, In 2018, Craig beat incumbent Republican Congressman Jason Lewis by five points. Lewis lost his own bid for Sen. Tina Smith's seat in the 2020 cycle.

Local political expert Professor David Schultz of Hamline University says the close race makes good sense.

"It's a district that has a lot of volatility, a lot of demographic changes in it and one that really is a recipe to be a swing district," he said.

Schultz says that race has implications for the political future of Minnesota as a whole.

"We are a state for the foreseeable future is going to remain very competitive, very divided between Republicans and Democrats. So this race again is a microcosm, a small overview of the overall competitiveness as the state is rapidly demographically changing," he said.

Professor Schultz says voter confusion after a third party candidate, Adam Weeks, passed away in September, clouded this race.

He says it's possible the results could still be challenged because of that.

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