Who’s Running in Minnesota in 2022: Statewide Offices and U.S. House

It’s a big election year in Minnesota: the governor and all the other statewide constitutional offices are all up for election in 2022, along with each of Minnesota’s U.S. House seats and all 201 members of the Minnesota Legislature. For the latter two groups, they will be running in brand new districts.

With so many offices on the ballot and multiple candidates declared for each of them, MinnPost is keeping track of who’s running in Minnesota. This page will keep track of candidates for governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor and each of Minnesota’s eight U.S. House seats. (We’re also keeping track of candidates for the Minnesota Legislature.) This post will be updated throughout the year as candidates are added to and leave the race.

Know about a candidate who’s running that you don’t see listed here? Let us know by emailing whosrunning@minnpost.com.

Governor

Gov. Tim Walz is trying to avoid a political superlative as he enters the 2022 election — being the first governor since 1990 to seek a second term and not win. While Minnesota has been a blue state in statewide elections and hasn’t elected a Republican governor since 2007, Walz is entering a campaign with two challenges — one traditional and one unique.

This election is the first since Joe Biden was elected president and the party of the sitting president usually does poorly in the first midterm, especially in congressional races. This is also the first election since the COVID pandemic hit the globe and GOP challengers are making COVID response as well as crime, inflation and education their main issues. Former state Sen. Scott Jensen emerged from a field of Republican candidates by winning a ninth-ballot endorsement from the state GOP convention.

DFL

photo of Tim Walz

Tim Walz

DFL
Lives in: St. Paul
Incumbent

Walz was a public school teacher in Mankato when he ran for Congress from the First Congressional District. After serving 12 years in Congress, he entered the open DFL primary for governor and beat two rivals before defeating Jeff Johnson. Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan competes the ticket.

Ole Savior

DFL

Republican

photo of Scott Jensen

Scott Jensen

Republican
Lives in: Chaska

Jensen is a family doctor who entered politics by winning a GOP-leaning state Senate seat in 2016. After one term as a maverick who worked with both Republicans and DFLers, Jensen decided not to seek a second term. Shortly after the pandemic began, Jensen became a national figure for his views questioning COVID science. Matt Birk is on the ticket as lieutenant governor. He was endorsed by the state GOP after nine ballots

photo of Joyce Lynn Lacey

Joyce Lynn Lacey

Republican

Kent Edwards is the lieutenant governor candidate on this ticket

photo of Bob Carney, Jr.

Bob Carney, Jr.

Republican

Carney has run for office before, for governor in 2010, 2018 and again this year, for U.S. Senate in 2020 and for city offices, including a 2021 run for mayor of Minneapolis. He called for then-President Trump to resign or be impeached in 2018. After an unsuccessful run for the unexpired term in the 1st Congressional District, Carney filed for governor with Captain Jack Sparrow as his running mate.

Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis

Steve Patterson

Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis

Steve Patterson is a small business owner and was a Healthcare Security Officer during the pandemic. Patterson says he wants to do more than just legalize Marijuana. Other priorities include tax breaks for Minnesotans working over 40 hours per week, helping people gain independence who are currently on state aid, and keeping small businesses open and thriving. Matt Huff is Patterson’s running mate

Darrell Paulsen

Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis

Ed Engelmann is Paulsen’s running mate

photo of James McCaskel

James McCaskel

David Sandbeck is McCaskel’s running mate

photo of Chris Wright

Chris Wright

L.C. Lawrence Converse is Wright’s running mate

Independence-Alliance

photo of Hugh McTavish

Hugh McTavish

Independence-Alliance

McTavish is a biochemistry PhD and patent attorney who describes himself as an inventor and business owner who has companies that produce a cancer drug and a cold sore treatment. Recently, McTavish has created a Twitter account and written a book that asserts that pandemic lockdowns did more harm than good and caused more deaths than they prevented. His lieutenant governor running mate is Mike Winter.

Attorney General

Former Minneapolis Congressman Keith Ellison is up for re-election after narrowly beating Republican Doug Wardlow by less than four points in the race for Attorney General in 2018. In his first term, Ellison’s office led the prosecution of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of second-degree murder in killing George Floyd. Ellison’s office also led the prosecution of former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter, who was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the killing of Daunte Wright. Republicans have criticized Ellison, however, for crime and also riots in the wake of Floyd’s murder and for enforcement of Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 executive orders closing businesses earlier in the pandemic. Vaccine requirements are also likely to be a theme in the race. Endorsed GOP candidate Jim Schultz will first have to defeat Wardlow in the August primary. Wardlow had pledged not to run if another candidate was endorsed but went back on that pledge.

DFL

photo of Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison

DFL
Lives in: Minneapolis
Incumbent

Ellison was elected Attorney General in 2018 after serving six terms in the U.S. House representing Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District. In addition to prosecuting Chauvin and Potter, Ellison has highlighted his efforts to lower pharmaceutical drug prices, sue opioid companies and more.

Bill Dahn

Republican

photo of Doug Wardlow

Doug Wardlow

Republican

Wardlow ran against Ellison in 2018, but lost. He is trying for a second time, running on a platform aimed at promoting police and criticizing Ellison for what he says was a lax response to crime and rioting following the Floyd murder. Wardlow is an attorney for MyPillow, the company run by prominent election fraud conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell.

photo of Jim Schultz

Jim Schultz

Republican
Lives in: Plymouth

Schultz has worked in the past for Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis and previously served on a Hennepin County Capital Budget task force after being appointed by then-Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson. He has also criticized Ellison for his views on police reform and the response of DFLers to riots after the Floyd murder.

Sharon Anderson

Secretary of State

One of five statewide elected offices in Minnesota, secretary of state is not one that gets a lot of attention at election time. Incumbent Steve Simon was narrowly elected to an open seat in 2014 and easily re-elected in 2018. But the unsubstantiated claims of vote theft by Donald Trump that have been adopted by many Republicans under the phrase “election integrity” have brought this ministerial office into the mainstream.

Simon has done battle with legislative Republicans, especially Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer who served two terms in the office, over how elections are run and changes made during the COVID pandemic to increase access to mail ballots.

In addition to running state elections with local elections officials, the office records business incorporation documents, runs the Safe at Home address confidentiality program and processes applications for appointments to state boards and commissions. With former conservative think tank attorney Kim Crockett in the race, election security will be the top issue. Crockett has spent the last 18 months challenging election results across the U.S.

DFL

photo of Steve Simon

Steve Simon

DFL
Lives in: Hopkins
Incumbent

Simon is an attorney who has worked as an assistant state attorney general and private practice. He was first elected to the state House in 2004 and served until his campaign for secretary of state.

photo of Steve Carlson

Steve Carlson

DFL

I’m a linguist and will be running a multi-lingual campaign, really building on what the MNSOS website already does. I’ve begun that multilingual effort by tweeting in many of Minnesota’s languages, “What are the best election laws for Minnesota?” and will be providing answers to that question as broadly as possible, so as to involve the whole state.

Republican

photo of Kim Crockett

Kim Crockett

Republican
Lives in: Excelsior

Crockett is an attorney who was an attorney and policy advocate for the conservative Center of the American Experiment and later for the Minnesota Voters Alliance. In both positions Crockett has argued that elections in Minnesota and nationally are not secure enough.

photo of Erik van Mechelen

Erik van Mechelen

Republican

The candidate is an author and writer turned reporter, analyst, and activist since November 3, 2020. He says he works daily to raise awareness about “the controlled nature of our modern electronic voting system.”

Auditor

The state auditor’s office primarily oversees more than $40 billion in spending by local governments, but also sits on state boards tied to investments, economic development, pensions and housing. The auditor is also on the state’s executive council, which can vote to continue a governor’s emergency authority, among other powers. Democrat Julie Blaha beat Republican Pam Myhra by about six points for the job in 2018. Ryan Wilson, an attorney and founder of a medical device research firm in the GOP endorsed candidate but this office has also been the path for the legal marijuana parties to win at least 5 percent of the vote and qualify for major party status.

DFL

photo of Julie Blaha

Julie Blaha

DFL
Lives in: Ramsey
Incumbent

Incumbent Auditor Julie Blaha was elected to the position in 2018. Before becoming auditor, she was president of Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota and secretary-treasurer of the Minnesota AFL-CIO.

Republican

photo of Ryan Wilson

Ryan Wilson

Republican
Lives in: Maple Grove

Wilson, a constitutional law attorney who formerly ran a medical device research company, said he decided to run for auditor after recent reports of fraud in a nonprofit aimed at feeding children and cost overruns in the Southwest light-rail line. While the auditor doesn’t have oversight of those two issues, Wilson said he will root out cronyism in the position.

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis

Will Finn

Tim Davis

Congressional District 1 Special Election

Following the death of Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, Minnseota’s 1st District will hold a special election on Aug. 9 to determine which candidate will take his place. Former Trump USDA official Brad Finstad will go up against ex-Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger after the two advanced in the May 24 primary. The candidate who wins in August will have to run again to keep the seat in the November midterm election. Republicans are favored to hold the district.

Republican

photo of Brad Finstad

Brad Finstad

Republican

Brad Finstad served as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for the 21B district from 2003 to 2008. After leaving the House, he served as a USDA Rural Development official during the Trump administration.

DFL

photo of Jeff Ettinger

Jeff Ettinger

DFL

Ettinger was the CEO of Hormel from 2005 until 2016 and currently chairs the Hormel Foundation, which supports initiatives like community college scholarships for Austin high school students. He also is co-chair of Gov. Tim Walz’s Minnesota Council on Economic Expansion and teaches at the University of Minnesota.

photo of Richard B. Reisdorf

Richard B. Reisdorf

Reisdorf is a military veteran, retiree and supporter of the Green Party who said cannabis shouldn’t be considered a “Schedule 1” drug federally along with substances like heroin. Reisdorf said marijuana is a “natural” and “God made” drug that can be used to help treat veterans instead of opiates that many are addicted to.

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis

photo of Haroun McClellan

Haroun McClellan

McClellan is an attorney and contracts manager at Mortenson Construction, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Congressional District 1

There is no incumbent in the 1st District after the death of Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, and there will be a contested primary race Aug. 9 to determine which DFL and Republican candidates will face off to serve this GOP-leaning district. Former Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger and ex-Trump USDA official Brad Finstad are competing in a special election Aug. 9 to complete Hagedorn’s term, a contest held on the same day as the primary election for the regular midterm election in November. But the regularly scheduled election will be held under new district lines drawn following the 2020 Census, while the special election is under the old district boundaries.

Republican

photo of Brad Finstad

Brad Finstad

Republican
Lives in: New Ulm

Finstad was appointed Minnesota director for rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Donald Trump. Before that he served three terms in the Minnesota House and led the state Turkey Growers Association and the Center for Rural Policy and Development. Finstad won a crowded May primary for the special election to fill the remainder of Hagedorn’s term.

photo of Jeremy Munson

Jeremy Munson

Republican

Munson is a state representative from Lake Crystal, first elected in 2018, who broke from the House Republican Caucus to start his own conservative bloc with three other legislators. He is known for voting against most government spending and “omnibus” bills that wrap many pieces of legislation into one bill. He also clashes with Republican leadership frequently. Munson came in second in the special election primary to serve out Hagedorn’s term.

photo of Matt Benda

Matt Benda

Republican

Benda is an agricultural law attorney and describes himself as a Republican party activist. He’s also past chair of the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.

DFL

photo of Jeff Ettinger

Jeff Ettinger

DFL
Lives in: Austin

Ettinger was the CEO of Hormel from 2005 until 2016 and currently chairs the Hormel Foundation, which supports initiatives like community college scholarships for Austin high school students. He also is co-chair of Gov. Tim Walz’s Minnesota Council on Economic Expansion, teaches at the University of Minnesota, and is on the boards of Ecolab and The Toro Company. He won the May DFL primary for the special election by a wide margin.

George H. Kalberer

DFL

KTTC TV reported Kalberer runs a business Kalberer Capital Management.

photo of James Rainwater

James Rainwater

DFL

Rainwater is an attorney who runs a law and mediation firm and is a member of the Lake City Charter Commission. His website describes himself as an “Eisenhower Republican.”

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis

photo of Brian Abrahamson

Brian Abrahamson

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis

Abrahamson’s website says he will give voice to progressive issues including cannabis legalization, Medicare for All and tuition-free education.

photo of Richard B. Reisdorf

Richard B. Reisdorf

Reisdorf is a military veteran, retiree and supporter of the Green Party who said cannabis shouldn’t be considered a “Schedule 1” drug federally along with substances like heroin. Reisdorf said marijuana is a “natural” and “God made” drug that can be used to help treat veterans instead of opiates that many are addicted to.

Congressional District 2

Democratic Rep. Angie Craig has held onto the 2nd District since she won in 2018, but the GOP has already listed CD2 as one of their primary targets for a midterm takeover. Republican Tyler Kistner lost to Craig in 2020 but is back with a vengence and has already raised more than $1.6 million in campaign funding.

DFL

photo of Angie Craig

Angie Craig

DFL
Lives in: Eagan

Craig is the current representative of Minnesota’s Second Congressional District. Craig started her career as a newspaper reporter and later worked her way up to become an executive at St. Jude Medical before running for Congress. Craig sits on several subcommittees including those in Agriculture, Energy and Commerce and Small business. Craig is a member of the LGBT community and co-chairs the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

Republican

photo of Tyler Kistner

Tyler Kistner

Republican

Kistner is a Minnesota native who served nine years of active duty in the Marines before he and his wife Marie put roots down in Prior Lake. A main focus of Kistner’s campaign is education: his campaign website says he believes “the political indoctrination of our students in public schools must stop,” and that the teaching of critical race theory is unacceptable.

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis

Patrick F. Bradley

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis

This candidate filed for office with the Secretary of State but no further information was available immediately about them.

Paula M. Overby

Overby is an IT director working in education, according to her website. She supports legalization of marijuana and some progressive policies like Medicare for All.

Congressional District 3

Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips defeated incumbent Republican Erik Paulsen in 2018, becoming the first Democrat to hold the seat since 1961. Phillips won again in 2020 against Republican Kendall Qualls. (Qualls ran unsuccessfully this year for governor of Minnesota.) This year, Phillips faces a main challenge from Republican Tom Weiler, who is leaning heavily on his past military experience in his campaign strategy.

DFL

photo of Dean Phillips

Dean Phillips

DFL
Lives in: Deephaven
Incumbent

Phillips is the current representative of Minnesota’s Third Congressional District. Phillips first ran for Congress in 2018, when he defeated incumbent Republican Erik Paulsen. He held onto his seat in 2020, and currently serves on several subcommittees including those in Financial Services and Foreign Affairs. Phillips also serves on the House Committee on Ethics and is a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

Republican

photo of Tom Weiler

Tom Weiler

Republican
Lives in: Plymouth

Weiler is a Navy veteran whose time in the military was cut short when he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease. Weiler now lives in Minnesota with his wife an dchildren.

Congressional District 4

Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum is a formidable opponent in congressional elections: McCollum has been in office since she wan the 2000 election and holds several powerful positions in Congress, including chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Despite being one of the more progressive members of Congress, McCollum faces a challenge from another candidate on the left. Amane Badhasso is running a campaign calling herself a more progressive alternative to McCollum.

DFL

photo of Betty McCollum

Betty McCollum

DFL
Lives in: St. Paul
Incumbent

McCollum is the current representative of Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District. McCollum first assumed office in 2001, and she has served on many committees and subcommittees over the years, most notably now as chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

photo of Amane Badhasso

Amane Badhasso

DFL

Badhasso was born in a rural village in Ethiopia, and her family fled ongoing violence in the country when she was a child, becoming refugees in Kenya and finally making it to safety in the United States. Badhasso is a community organizer and is running a campaign aiming to be a more progressive candidate than McCollum.

photo of Fasil Moghul

Fasil Moghul

Moghul is running on a platform that includes Medicare for All and a foreign policy agenda that calls for “direct military airstrikes” on “military installations” of the Syrian, Venezuelan, and North Korean governments, according to his website.

Republican

photo of May Lor Xiong

May Lor Xiong

Republican
Lives in: St. Paul

May Lor Xiong, a St. Paul resident, is running for Congress in the Fourth Congressional District as a Republican. According to her campaign website, she moved to the U.S. at age 8 as a Hmong refugee, and has worked as an ESL teacher and a real estate broker.

photo of Gene Rechtzigel

Gene Rechtzigel

Republican

Rechtzigel’s website says he was born in rural Minnesota and in 2020 he lost to McCollum by more than 130,000 votes after winning the Republican primary in the 4th District. His website says he will “stop the looting, stop the arson” and stop the “rioting” and he criticzies McCollum for PFAS chemicals in water in the district.

photo of Jerry Silver

Jerry Silver

Silver drives a semi-truck delivering mail from Eagan to LaCrosse, Wisconsin and has been a pastor. He has written a book about what he says was racism in the church and school where he was pastor and principal.

Congressional District 5

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar filed to run for the 5th District seat just five months before the 2018 election after six-term incumbent Keith Ellison announced he would not seek reelection. The Fifth District is one of the most Democratic in the Upper Midwest, and Omar won against GOP challenger Jennifer Zielinski with 78 percent of the vote in that first election and was re-elected in 2020 by a 40-point margin.

DFL

photo of Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar

DFL
Lives in: Minneapolis
Incumbent

Omar is the current Democratic representative of Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District. Omar took office in 2019 making a number of electoral firsts: She is the first Somali-American, the first naturalized citizen from Africa and the first non-white woman elected from Minnesota and one of the first two Muslim women (along with Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) to serve in Congress

photo of Don Samuels

Don Samuels

DFL

Don Samuels first began a career in local politics when he joined the Minneapolis City Council in 2003. In the 2020 election, Samuels was an outspoken critic of the referendum effort to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department.

photo of AJ Kern

AJ Kern

Kern’s candidacy is staked in large part on falsely questioning whether Omar is a U.S. Citizen. She was formerly a Benton County Planning Commissioner.

photo of Albert Ross

Albert Ross

Ross runs a construction business and his website says he became successful through Christ after struggling with addiction and homelessness.

Nate Schluter

DFL

This candidate filed to run with the Secretary of State but no further information was available about them.

Republican

photo of Cicely Davis

Cicely Davis

Republican
Lives in: Minneapolis

Davis is a Minneapolis native who is running against Omar on the premise that Minneapolis Democrats “manipulated racial division to gain power” and brought violence to the city.

photo of Royce White

Royce White

A native of the Rondo community of St. Paul, Royce White is a former professional basketball player who has received media attention for leading protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and for protesting against Uyghur genocide during an Big 3 postgame interview.

Guy T Gaskin

Republican

This candidate filed to run with the Secretary of State but no further information was available about them.

Congressional District 6

Since taking office in 2015, Republican Rep. Tom Emmer has continued to gain power in Congress. In 2019, he became the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of House Republicans. Only one person — Jeanne Hendricks — filed to run against Emmer, and his odds look good for now. The 6th District has been a Republican stronghold for years, with Republicans holding the seat since 2003.

Republican

photo of Tom Emmer

Tom Emmer

Republican
Lives in: Delano

Emmer is the current representative of Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District. Emmer first took office in 2015 and has since been appointed as the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

DFL

photo of Jeanne Hendricks

Jeanne Hendricks

DFL
Lives in: St. Louis Park

Hendricks is a nurse anesthetist. Hendricks worked as a volunteer on President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. She currently lives in St. Louis Park.

Congressional District 7

As a freshman member of Congress, Michelle Fischbach took over the 7th District from 30-year incumbent Democrat Collin Peterson. Despite Peterson’s long tenure, the district had been trending Republican for many years, which may play to Fischbach’s advantage as she seeks to retain the seat.

Republican

photo of Michelle Fischbach

Michelle Fischbach

Republican
Lives in: Paynesville

Fischbach is the current representative of Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District. Fischbach was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1996 and became the first female president of the Minnesota Senate in 2011. Fischbach also briefly served as lieutenant governor of Minnesota after then-Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to the U.S. Senate.

Independent

photo of Travis "Bull" Johnson

Travis “Bull” Johnson

Independent

Johnson is an Army veteran who settled in the Twin Cities area with his wife and three kids. In 2004, Johnson joined the Texas National Guard. He retired in 2018 and moved with his family to Beltrami, MN and settled on an 8-acre homestead.

DFL

photo of Jill Abahsain

Jill Abahsain

DFL
Lives in: Sauk Centre

Abahsain is the former mayor of Spicer and is currently director of the Sauk Centre History Museum and Research Center. She lost in a state Senate race to Republican Sen. Torrey Westrom in 2020.

photo of Alycia R. Gruenhagen

Alycia R. Gruenhagen

Gruenhagen’s Facebook page says she is a “pro-life, Pro-2nd Amendment conservative Democrat.” Gruenhagen ran and lost to Collin Peterson in the 2020 DFL primary in the 7th District.

Congressional District 8

For years, the area covered by northern Minnesota’s 8th District was firmly Democratic territory, with a strong labor vote reliably backing blue candidates. That Democratic hold wavered in 2010 when Republican Chip Cravaack defeated 17-term incumbent Jim Oberstar. Democrat Rick Nolan recaptured the seat in 2012, but his retirement left an open contest in 2018 that was won by Republican Pete Stauber. In his 2020 re-election bid, Stauber won by an even larger margin. Though redistricting changed the makeup of voters in the 8th District, Democrats face a significant challenge in trying to win back the district.

Republican

photo of Pete Stauber

Pete Stauber

Republican
Lives in: Duluth

Stauber is the current representative of Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District. Stauber, a former professional hockey player and Duluth police officer, was first elected in 2018. Stauber serves on several subcommittees including those within the Transportation and Infrastructure and Small Business Committees.

photo of Harry Robb Welty

Harry Robb Welty

Republican

This candidate filed to run with the Secretary of State but no further information was immediately available about them.

DFL

photo of Ernest Oppegaard-Peltier

Ernest Oppegaard-Peltier

DFL

Ernest Oppegaard-Peltier moved with his husband to Bemidji, MN from Grand Forks, ND in 2018. He has spent almost two decades engaging with his community by being on state task forces advocating for foster and adoption youth, campaign finance reform, racial justice and against political corruption. Previously running in the Seventh District, Oppegaard-Peltier was drawn into the new Eighth District after redistricting changed some district boundaries.

photo of Jen Schultz

Jen Schultz

DFL
Lives in: Duluth

Schultz is serving her fourth term in the Minnesota House representing Duluth. She’s an economics professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth and has a specialty in health care. Schultz chairs the House’s Human Services Finance and Policy Committee.

photo of John Munter

John Munter

DFL

Munter is a retiree who worked for Delta in Chisholm. He lives on a hobby farm and is anti-copper nickel mining in the region. He said the major issue in the campaign is affordable housing and property valuations.

(MinnPost)

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