MAZEPPA — For Tyler Kistner, a 10-mile run is hardly enough to break a sweat.

Meeting about 250 potential constituents while running, though, makes for a challenging day.

However, Kistner, the Republican candidate for Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, a seat in the U.S. House currently held by Rep. Angie Craig, said he's up for the challenge.

"We've run about 10 miles today," he said, adding that he plans to make 10 10-mile runs through various parts of the district.

Tyler Kistner, who is running against U.S. Rep. Angie Craig in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, talks with Mazeppa BP convenience store owner Travis Liffrig and his son, 15-week-old Reuter, and State Rep. Steve Drazkowski during a campaign stop as part of his 100 Mile Run Across MN02 Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in Mazeppa. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Tyler Kistner, who is running against U.S. Rep. Angie Craig in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, talks with Mazeppa BP convenience store owner Travis Liffrig and his son, 15-week-old Reuter, and State Rep. Steve Drazkowski during a campaign stop as part of his 100 Mile Run Across MN02 Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in Mazeppa. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

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Along the way, the U.S. Marine veteran, who served nine years before deciding to run for Congress, is talking to people, listening to their concerns and telling them why they should send him to Washington on Nov. 3.

"The number one priority is you change the dysfunction in D.C. by changing who you're sending to D.C.," Kistner said.

Travis Liffrig, owner of the BP gas station in Mazeppa, said he wants to see change because the current leadership in the House of Representatives is not working for the people.

"I'm supportive of whoever will do the best job for the people," Liffrig said.

In Kistner, Liffrig said he sees a fellow man of faith who will make decisions that benefit the nation.

"He believes our country, our community, our state can't keep going the way it is," Liffrig said. "We're going to run out of money. Things need to be changed up there in the capital."

Kistner visited ran into 10 cities as he ran 10 miles Thursday, starting in Lake City and ending his tour of Wabasha County in Mazeppa. He planned to run in southern Dakota County Friday, with Lakeville and Farmington on the itinerary. At the end of the run, he'll stop for a 9/11 remembrance. On Monday, he'll visit Red Wing for a campaign stop at 5 p.m. near Colvill Park and River Valley Marina.

Kistner said during his run across Wabasha County he's heard people ask how their communities will be kept safe and how he will get the economy back to where it was before COVID-19.

"I'm not convincing anyone," Kistner said. "I'm showing them. I'm showing them someone who stands up for our police. I'm showing them exactly what Angie Craig has failed to do. She said she'd be moderate but she's voted 95% of the time with the Democratic party, and 40% of her (campaign) money is from special interests."

Kistner said he never planned to run for Congress, but he was on the Pentagon staff as it helped usher the National Defense Authorization Act through Congress, and he learned about the legislative process. As he was transitioning from active duty to the reserves, he was encouraged by several friends and colleagues to run for Congress.

"As an officer in the Marine Corps, I worked with people from different backgrounds," Kistner said. If he wins, he plans to tackle problems with reason and leave the partisan emotion at the door.

"It's getting worse and worse with the more emotion you throw into politics," he said. "We've got to remove the emotion in D.C."