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As the number of candidates increases, a former WH lawyer discusses the campaign to represent southern Minnesota in Congress | Multimedia

ROCHESTER, Minnesota — Following the death of Rep. Jim Hagedorn last month, a growing list of candidates are announcing their candidacies to represent Southern Minnesota in Washington.

With the primary elections fast approaching, the following seven candidates have officially filed their intention to run for Minnesota’s First Congressional District with the office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.

  • Bob “Encore” Carney Jr. (R)
  • Ken Navitsky (R)
  • Richard W. Painter (DFL)
  • Brad Finstad (R)
  • Jeremy Munson (R)
  • Kevin Kocina (R)
  • Richard B. Reisdorf (Legal Cannabis Now)
The field includes five Republicans, one DFL candidate and another from the Legal Marijuana Now Party. After speaking with State Rep. Jeremy Munson last week, KIMT sat down with Richard Painter, the only Democratic candidate on the slate.

Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor and former White House chief ethics counsel during the Bush administration, says he will work diligently to represent the interests of ordinary people if elected.

“My message to Washington is going to be that politicians need to look after ordinary people with middle-class incomes, not the super-rich, and that’s not what’s happening. That’s not what I’m ‘ve seen in Washington,” Painter said.

The former US Senate candidate shares his focus on supporting farmers, affordable health care and lowering the cost of higher education. Although he’s worked for both Republicans and Democrats, Painter says his campaign isn’t about party loyalty, it’s about loyalty to the average American.

“At the end of the day, when you have to feed your family, or you have to fill that gas tank in the car, it’s not a question of whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican. You have to pay your bills. ” Painter continued, “Who benefits from a booming economy? If you get the benefits of a booming economy as a middle-class American, then great, the system works for you, great. But I don’t think it’s for a lot of people, and I’m going to fight for everyone.”

Candidates intending to run in the upcoming special election for Minnesota’s top congressional seat have until March 15and to be filed with the Secretary of State.