Former Nicollet County Prosecutor Seeking 2nd District Seat

Former Nicollet County Prosecutor Seeking 2nd District Seat

Image: Joseph Teirab
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Assistant U.S. attorney positioning himself for 2nd congressional district run

by Michelle Griffith, Minnesota Reformer
October 12, 2023

An experienced prosecutor appears to be positioning himself to run for Congress in Minnesota’s 2nd District.

Joseph Teirab has worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for three years, according to his LinkedIn. Teirab has been involved in the prosecution of high-profile cases, including the Feeding Our Future fraud scheme and a wide-ranging case against dozens of alleged Minneapolis gang members.  

Teirab hasn’t officially filed his candidacy, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Joe Ditto, chair of the Congressional District 2 Republicans, told the Reformer that Teirab called him to ask about potentially running for the seat.

When reached on the phone, Teirab wouldn’t confirm to the Reformer that he is running and referred questions to Zach Freimark — who has been a senior advisor to U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer’s campaign and regional political director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to Freimark’s LinkedIn.

Freimark did not immediately respond to a voicemail seeking comment.

Emmer’s blessing would be a key endorsement for any Republican running for the U.S. House given his previous role as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and record as a fundraiser. 

A spokesperson with the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Teirab no longer works there.

Though Teirab would seem to be running in the 2nd District, he doesn’t live there, according to property records. Teirab lives in Minnetonka, which is located in the state’s 3rd Congressional District.

U.S. House members must live in the state they represent, but not necessarily in their district.

Teirab, a native of Windom, Minnesota, was a prosecutor and general counsel for the U.S. Marine Corps, according to his LinkedIn. He also was an assistant county attorney for the Nicollet County Attorney’s Office. He was deployed to Iraq in 2017, according to the St. Peter Herald. 

During his deployment, he “provided legal advice regarding strikes of targets in support of Operation Inherent Resolve,” his LinkedIn states.

Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, currently held by U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, is the state’s most competitive. Craig narrowly beat Republican challenger Tyler Kistner 2020 — by 9,580 votes — though she won by a more comfortable margin in 2022, besting Kistner by over 5 points. 

According to FEC filings, only three candidates have officially filed to run in the 2nd Congressional District: Craig, a Democrat, and Republicans Tayler Rahm and Michael Murphy. 

From January to June of this year, Craig has raised over $1.5 million dollars, according to FEC filings. Rahm — a Burnsville criminal defense lawyer — has raised over $50,000 in the same time period. Murphy — a former Lexington mayor who ran for governor — has only raised $4,000, according to the FEC.

Kistner, a Marine reservist, sent an email to supporters last week relaying that he’s been deployed overseas. He hasn’t announced whether he will run against Craig next year for the third time, but he said: “We are not finished with what we started.”

“I look forward to seeing you all upon my return in 2024,” Kistner wrote.

Minnesota Reformer is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Minnesota Reformer maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Patrick Coolican for questions: Follow Minnesota Reformer on Facebook and Twitter.

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