Matt Benda, a lifelong resident of southern Minnesota, agricultural law attorney, rural Minnesota advocate and Republican Party activist, is the latest to announce his candidacy in Minnesota’s First Congressional District Special Election. The seat was vacated by last month’s death of Jim Hagedorn.
Benda was born and raised on the family farm in Alpha. For 25 years as an attorney, he has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with farmers, families and small business owners to help them succeed. His father, George, served as president of the Minnesota Cattlemen’s Association and introduced Matt to the Republican Party at a young age. He has two sisters who still farm the family farm and are active in the pork industry.
Said Benda in a press release: “The First Congressional District is Minnesota's agricultural breadbasket filled with hard-working people farming our land, running main street businesses and saving lives with world-class health care. Congressman Jim Hagedorn was a tireless advocate for these foundational pillars, and I would be honored to carry on his work in these critical areas. As your Congressman, I’ll fight to return us to energy independence and bring down the cost of gas. I’ll lead the charge for fiscal sanity and against wasteful spending and regulations that drive inflation.”
Benda graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in agricultural business management, and with honors from Drake University Law School. While at Drake, he was founding editor of the Journal of Agricultural Law and did policy work for the Farm Bureau and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Twice named “Attorney of the Year” for his work in the community, Benda previously served as chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Agricultural Law Section Council.
Benda has long been involved as an advocate for rural Minnesota and his hometown of Albert Lea, serving as chair of the Chamber of Commerce, member of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency, 4-H Youth Leader, and Chair of the Catholic School Board. He and his wife Heather, a CPA in Albert Lea, have been married 22 years and have two children.