State Sen. Carla Nelson won't seek 1st District seat left vacant after Jim Hagedorn death

Nelson told reporters at the Capitol that she would run to represent the new Senate District 24.

Senate Education Finance Chairwoman Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, supports a bill that would restructure the teacher licensure system to broaden the scope of licenses educators in Minnesota can obtain.
Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester.
Maureen McMullen / Forum News Service file photo
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ST. PAUL — Minnesota Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, on Monday, Feb. 21, told reporters that she planned to seek reelection to the state Senate.

Nelson was considered a potential replacement to fill the 1st Congressional District seat following the death last week of U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn. But Nelson said she wanted to continue work in the Minnesota Senate on behalf of the newly drawn Senate District 24, which includes part of the western part of Rochester, Byron, Stewartville and Dodge County.

"I'm running and I'm very excited," Nelson said.

A five-judge panel last week released 2022 congressional and legislative maps that recast the state's political boundaries to address changes captured in the 2020 U.S. Census.

Nelson and Sen. Gene Dornink, R-Hayfield, both live within the boundaries of the new Senate District 24 but Dornink has said he won't challenge Nelson for the GOP endorsement for the seat. Instead, Dornink said he planned to move to Freeborn County and pursue a bid for office there.



Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter  @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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