ROCHESTER, Minn - Congressman Tim Walz is running for Governor.
With him out, and Trump winning over Minnesota's first congressional disctrict in the 2016 election, local republicans are hopeful they can turn the seat red.
"I feel very confident that we have a chance, we have an open seat, I think we have a couple of good candidates. Both of them are well positioned to not only raise money but also really reach out to the voters in southern Minnesota," Aaron Miller, Chair of Olmsted County Republicans, said.
Jim Hageborn said he's already raised $400,00, which is more than his team spent during the entire 2016 election.
This is his third time running after losing twice to Tim Walz in 2014 and 2106.
He said he wants voters to take away from Monday night's debate that he reflects the views and values of conservatives.
Hageborn said he's in a strong position but Miller remind us election day is still far away.
"It all starts with that first week of February with the caucus process all the way through to the state convention in early June. So, enjoy the holidays, hang on, because it's going to get very exciting starting in February," Miller said.
We reached out to state senator Carla Nelson before tonight's debate and did not hear back.
A next debate is in the process of being planned, but is not officially scheduled.