February 9, 2023

All of his potential Democratic opponents say Van Orden is extremely dangerous, but they do it differently. Brad Pfaff, a Wisconsin state senator, highlights his accumulated experience in politics, claiming the mantle of Mr. Kind’s style of centrism. His main rival, Deb McGrath, a former CIA officer and army captain, takes a more liberal stance and… a more confrontational attitude to Mr. Van Orden, a fellow veteran who she said would “take the same oath I took to protect and defend the Constitution,” but then went to Washington on Jan. 6.

Whoever wins the primaries can expect a tough climb to keep the seat in Democratic hands.

The Representative Jim Hagedorn dies from cancer, a Republican, gave voters in his southern district of Minnesota a chance in February to fill his seat just in time for the final big votes in an already closely divided House. In another year, the seat would have been more competitive. After all, it was represented by Tim Walz, now the Democratic governor of Minnesota, before Hagedorn was elected in 2018.

But the district is leaning Republican, and Brad Finstad, a farmer who held a Department of Agriculture post in the Trump administration, is ahead of his Democratic opponent, Jeff Ettinger. Mr. Ettinger, the former CEO of Hormel Foods, is not making it easy for Republicans: He has put $900,000 of his own money into the race. Mr Finstad, who won his primary in May by just 427 votes, must unite the GOP and cast the ballot in a state where the race for governorship has no competitive primaries.

In a strange whim, Republican voters in the district will cast two ballots, one to determine who will serve in the House until the end of the year, and another for a primary to choose the party’s candidate in November, when the district elects its representative. for the next congress.

Finstad’s win in the special elections would narrow the House’s margin of democratic control to just four votes. In the first vote, meanwhile, Mr Finstad faces the man he barely beat in May, Jeremy Munson. That raises the intriguing possibility that Mr. Finstad could win one race and lose another on the same day.