My Point of View: County’s Republicans made great strides
My Point of View by Aaron Farris
One thing is undeniable: This was a long, grueling and very interesting election. Despite President Trump not winning Minnesota, the Freeborn County Republican Party’s candidates excelled in their races here in Freeborn County! It’s very clear that voters in Freeborn County saw the work that Republican officeholders did for everyday working class Minnesotans and rewarded every Republican nominee on the ballot with their vote because of it. For the first time in 70 years (since 1950 when Harry Truman was president), Freeborn County delivered a majority of their votes to every single Republican on the ballot. This is a monumental victory for Freeborn County Republicans that everyone who helped out by putting a sign in their yards, knocking on doors, making phone calls, etc. should be very proud of. Most of the following vote totals are not final, but this is what they were at the time of writing this column.
Freeborn County voted for President Trump by 770 more votes (2.07%) than we did in 2016, eradicating the media’s expectations that President Trump had lost support from rural Minnesota in the past four years. The Trump campaign made Minnesota a priority. It’s a shame that we couldn’t put President Trump over the finish line here in Minnesota, but we did our part here in Freeborn County by improving upon 2016, and that itself is something to be proud of. The result of this election on a national stage is still uncertain, but we fought hard here in Freeborn County, and it clearly paid off.
Freeborn County also voted to send Jason Lewis to the United States Senate by a 1,563 vote plurality over his opponent. Jason also didn’t win on a statewide level, but Freeborn County Republicans improved upon 2018 U.S. Senate nominee Karin Housley’s percentage by 2.42%. Jason visited Freeborn County many times in his effort to win this U.S. Senate seat, and although he came up short statewide, Freeborn Countians sent a clear message that they wanted Jason Lewis representing us in the U.S. Senate.
Congressman Jim Hagedorn once again defeated carpetbagger candidate Dan Feehan, this time by a larger margin that was in large part due to Congressman Hagedorn winning 1,273 more votes than Feehan here in Freeborn County. Despite having cancer, Congressman Hagedorn didn’t miss a beat in his dedicated service to the people of southern Minnesota, making many stops in Freeborn County, and even featured a number of Freeborn Countians in his most famous campaign ad during the election, which featured Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag. We are blessed with two more years of Jim Hagedorn as our congressman!
A huge statewide accomplishment that Freeborn Countians can take some of the credit for was keeping the Republican majority in the Minnesota Senate by electing Gene Dornink. This was Gene’s second time as the Republican nominee for this seat, and this time around earned 4.87% more of the vote in Freeborn County than he did in 2016! Senator-elect Dornink retired an 18-year Democratic incumbent, and was one of only two Republican pickups in the entire state. The Freeborn County Republican Party is very proud of Gene, and is so excited that we were able to help keep Governor Walz from attaining votes he needed in the state Legislature so he could pass his radical agenda.
Despite not winning back the Minnesota House of Representatives, Freeborn County reelected a very popular, community centered former teacher named Peggy Bennett. Freeborn County also retired a 14-year Democratic Austin incumbent by electing another teacher and community centered leader named Patty Mueller. Patty and Peggy are working to be brave, be free and put people before politics in the Minnesota House. With Patty, Peggy and Gene in the Legislature, I have faith that more common sense legislation will come out of the Legislature and find its way to the governor’s desk.
In Freeborn County, we have a lot to be proud of. It has been an incredible experience to serve as the secretary of the Freeborn County Republican Party and be a small part of history these past two years. Freeborn County, which 10 years ago was considered a safe Democratic county, is now considered a Republican-trending county. That. Is. Huge. The Democrats threw all their money and insults at our candidates, our officers and our beliefs, but nonetheless, we triumphed. As of this January, we will have a Republican congressman, a Republican state senator (for the first time in 18 years), and two Republican state representatives (one for the seventh year in a row, and the other for the first time in 14 years). We may not have won every race overall, but be proud, Freeborn County Republicans — we’re making strides for our county, our state and for our nation.
Aaron Farris is the secretary of the Freeborn County Republican Party. He is the party’s youngest activist.