Minnesota's 5 New Faces in Congress Most Since 1930s

November 13, 2018 11:31 PM

Republicans Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn did something only one other Republican did in the midterm elections: They flipped Democratic seats to Republican. 
 
By coincidence, they also both have unique connections to former President Ronald Reagan. 

RELATED: Meet the Congress Members: Democrat Angie Craig
 
"We were the first Division one hockey team to visit the White House and in May of '88 it was president Ronald Reagan," says Stauber, a captain of the 1988 Lake Superior State NCAA national champions. 

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The team enjoyed its time with Reagan 30 years ago. Stauber aspired to serve the public as a police officer back then, not as a politician, but Reagan still had a big impact on him.
 
"I remember meeting him and he was just a figure of a man," Stauber recalls. "His suit, everything was perfect about him, and he was just a humble person and congratulated us on the victory. I'll never forget that."


 
Like Stauber, Hagedorn is no stranger to Washington. Hagedorn's father, Tom Hagedorn, served in Congress from the mid-1970's to early 1980's.
 
"I'm a conservative," Hagedorn said in Washington on Tuesday, where he's taking part in new member orientation. "I've got a button that says I was for Reagan my whole life. A very nice guy. Principled guy. He stood for what he believed."
 
The Hagedorns are the first father-son Minnesota congressional combo since the 1930's.

RELATED: Meet the Congress Members: Rep. Jim Hagedorn and Pete Stauber
 
Meanwhile, Democrat Angie Craig is a trailblazer as the first openly gay member of a Minnesota congressional delegation. Craig says she's glad that was a non-issue in her campaign against Republican Jason Lewis.
 
Her most pressing issue now is whether or not to support Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker.
 
"Nobody's running but her," she said Tuesday. "There's no decision to make, right? I'm gonna vote for a Democrat. And so if we get other candidates over the coming weeks, I'll take a look at those."
 
The election of leaders in the new Democratic majority won't take place until later this month.
 
On Wednesday, the nearly 100 new members of the U.S. House will gather for a group picture outside the Capitol. The group will include five new members from Minnesota, including Democrats Dean Phillips and Ilhan Omar. It's the largest group of new Minnesota members since the 1930's.

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Tom Hauser

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