DFL seeks candidate to challenge Rep. Michelle Fischbach in western Minnesota's Congressional race
At one point, the DFL party had announced candidates for the 7th District seat, but those individuals are no longer eligible to run in the district after the redrawing of Congressional districts in Minnesota.
MOORHEAD — Candidates have until May 31 to file papers to run for the 7th Congressional District seat in Minnesota, but the state DFL Party currently has no announced candidates to challenge Republican incumbent Michelle Fischbach.
One candidate who had announced as a DFL hopeful for the job, Mark Lindquist, has since said he's putting political aspirations on hold to focus on trying to travel to Ukraine to help resist invading Russian forces.
Lindquist, an Air Force veteran known for singing "The National Anthem" at sporting events, told The Forum: "I can make plans to go out and help people, or I could sit on my couch and tweet about it."
Jennifer Cronin, who chairs Minnesota's 7th Congressional District DFL, said the party expects a candidate will be found soon to run for the seat that was occupied for 30 years by Democrat Collin Peterson.
Fischbach defeated Peterson in his last bid for reelection in November 2020.
Cronin said the party has formed a committee that's been meeting for about a month and has been researching and vetting candidates.
"We have several people we have reached out to and others who have contacted us," she said. "I believe in the next few weeks we should be able to have an announcement on that."
Given Peterson's long tenure in Congress, Cronin said fundraising for the next DFL candidate for the 7th Congressional District seat will be different than in past elections. "I believe we have plenty of time to catch up in fundraising," she said.
Cronin said the candidate who emerges will have to be someone "who will be out there to challenge Michelle Fischbach's narrative and to challenge her votes on several key issues, including veterans."
At one point, the DFL party had two other announced candidates for the 7th District seat besides Lindquist, including Reed Olson, a Beltrami County Commissioner, Cronin said.
But those individuals no longer had an interest in running in the 7th District after the redrawing of Congressional districts in Minnesota, even though under federal law someone who is eligible to run for the House from Minnesota may file in any district in the state, whether they reside in that district or not.
"We had three candidates and then redistricting happened and — poof!" Cronin said.
An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information regarding who is eligible to run for Congress in a given district. Under federal law, someone who is eligible to run for the House from Minnesota may file in any district in the state, whether they reside in that district or not.