Democrat Dan Feehan plans to challenge Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn for the First Congressional District in 2020, and he got things started with kickoff events in Mankato and Rochester Sunday.
Feehan lost the election for the United States House of Representatives seat in 2018. But he plans to challenge again to represent the First District, which includes Nicollet County. Over 300 people showed up between the Mankato and Rochester kickoff events.
“We’re trying to build some energy and enthusiasm,” Feehan said in an interview Monday. “… What we’re building is a movement bigger than any one person, and we wanted to show that.”
Hagedorn’s team did not respond to a request for comment ahead of the publishing of this article.
For Feehan, the No. 1 issue of focus is health care.
“It starts absolutely with health care,” he said. “Not just having it, but how much it costs, how far someone has to drive to get to it, especially in rural Minnesota where it’s harder and harder to find. And then it’s the quality of it. You can’t just focus on one aspect of it.”
He added, “Beyond that, or agriculture economy is at a crisis point and has been for some time, exacerbated by this trade war Jim Hagedorn has supported. You’re going to hear me talk about a different way to approach agriculture that gives farmers some kind of agency. It’s not corporations I intend to represent; it’s actual people.”
Feehan said his opponent is coming up short in performing his duties as southern Minnesota’s representative.
“Constituents are deeply frustrated,” Feehan said. “Hagedorn gets a lot of headlines for his words but it his actions that are most damaging. Fewer people have health care than a year ago. The cost is rising. The cost of prescription drugs is rising. They’re seeing what it’s like to have representation that doesn’t put people first.”
Expect Feehan to be campaigning hard over the next year, including in smaller towns.
“What you’re going to see for me is an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm across all of southern Minnesota,” he said. “You’ll see organizing from us in communities, both large and small, because I want everyone’s voices to be heard in this campaign.”
The 2020 general election, which includes the presidential race, takes place Nov. 3, 2020.