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Candidate Jill Abahsain is hopeful of DFL upswing in Minnesota's Congressional District 7

Jill Abahsain, DFL-endorsed candidate for Congress, met with supporters in New London, Minnesota, for a campaign rally last week.

DFL candidate for Congress in the 7th District Jill Abahsain held a campaign rally with Kandiyohi County supporters at the Goat Ridge Brewery in New London on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. Abahsain was joined by state legislative candidates Fernando Alvarado (left) and Fred Cogelow (right). Abahsain said she is seeing an upswing in DFL'ers getting active and supporting candidates.
DFL candidate for Congress in the 7th District Jill Abahsain, center left, held a campaign rally with Kandiyohi County supporters at the Goat Ridge Brewery in New London on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. Abahsain was joined by state legislative candidates Fernando Alvarado, left, and Fred Cogelow, center. Abahsain said she is seeing an upswing in DFL'ers getting active and supporting candidates.
Tom Cherveny / West Central Tribune
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NEW LONDON, Minn. — Republican Michelle Fishbach’s 2020 election victory over 30-year, DFL incumbent Collin Peterson caught many by surprise.

Jill Abahsain is looking to pull off her own surprise in 2022 by taking on the Republican incumbent in the Congressional District 7 race, which Republicans consider safely in the red camp.
This is Abahsain’s first run for federal office. She ran unsuccessfully against Torry Westrom for a Minnesota Senate seat in 2020.

Abahsain voiced optimism for a DFL upswing in a campaign rally Tuesday, Sept. 27, with DFL supporters at the Goat Ridge Brewery in New London, Minnesota.

During the visit, Abahsain emphasized her support for rural health care and education, reproductive rights, and keeping the Farm Bill intact.

She painted her incumbent as not being in line with the interests of the rural district or the country. “She does not represent us. She is not the future,” Abahsain said of Fishbach.

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At one point while chatting with supporters, she said of her opponent: “She is a very quiet, Minnesota-nice Marjorie Taylor Greene.”

Greene, a Georgia Republican, was removed by the House of Representatives from her committee assignments for incendiary comments.

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While results still need to be certified, Minnesota was just one of three states to top the 60% mark, along with Wisconsin and Maine, according to the U.S. Election Project.
Voter turnout was down 4% in Minnesota and 6% nationwide in the Nov. 8 election when compared to the 2018 midterm.

“First and foremost, I am running because I believe in a functioning democracy, and the first vote our incumbent cast was against a free and fair election,” Abahsain said in reference to Fishbach’s vote against certifying the election of President Joe Biden.

Abahsain told the gathering of supporters that she is surprised that farmers in the district are not “up in arms” over Republican efforts that could lead to decoupling the Farm Bill from the nutrition program. Peterson had long fought to keep the nutrition title as part of the bill as what he considered a practical matter: It assured support from the majority urban members of Congress for the Farm Bill.

Abahsain said Fishbach is on a Republican study committee looking at changes to the Farm Bill.

Abahsain said her optimism for the upcoming election is based on her campaign visits to DFL gatherings throughout the district. She said many at the events tell her they are both pleased and amazed at how many other DFL’ers are showing up.

“There is something going on that is different,” she said.

She said she believes there is a quiet support building for DFL candidates. She said she’s noticed it, especially while participating in small-town parade routes this summer. Under the shade of their sun umbrellas, she said she saw many people offering “shy waves and smiles” to her.

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoors reporter for the West Central Tribune.
He has been a reporter with the West Central Tribune since 1993.

Cherveny can be reached via email at tcherveny@wctrib.com or by phone at 320-214-4335.
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