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What is a typical day like for your congressman?

Meetings, fundraisers and morning runs, here's a taste of how U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer spends his days.
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Nov. 8 is about more than just Clinton vs. Trump, Minnesotans will cast their votes for a host of candidates and ballot issues – among them their choice for U.S. Representative.

Given they have to fight to retain their seat every two years and with the ubiquitousness of re-election/attack ads every other fall, you’d be forgiven for thinking your member of Congress is in constant campaigning mode.

So once you’ve voted them in, what is it they actually do? GoMN has asked two Minnesota U.S. Representatives, U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, a Republican, and Democrat Rick Nolan, to provide a rundown of a typical few days in their lives representing you.

Today, we take a look at Rep. Emmer, who in November is up against Democrat candidate David Snyder to represent Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, which covers east-central Minnesota, including St. Cloud and Anoka County. (Read about Nolan's typical day here.)

His life is one of company tours, constituent meetings, fundraisers, special sessions and morning runs.

His time in Minnesota

Whether in Minnesota or Washington, D.C., Rep. Emmer's day always starts with a morning run taken shortly after waking up.

When in his district, he will typically leave home just after 8 a.m., marking the start of a 12-hour day of obligations and visits. According to his spokesperson Rebecca Alery, a typical week will include "tours of companies, construction sites or manufacturing locations" and "meetings with individual constituents, donors, organizations and other government agencies."

More recently, because the election is just a few weeks away, his days often include "call time, donor meetings or fundraisers for himself or other Republican candidates," not to mention preparations for his debate against Snyder.

His team has actually provided a couple of his recent, jam-packed schedules that how he fills his days, which includes several speaking events at education institutions.

Wednesday, Oct. 13

  • Wakes up.
  • Goes for a run.
  • 8:15 a.m. Departs hosue.
  • 9 a.m. Meeting in office with local organization.
  • 9:30 a.m. Call time.
  • 11:30 a.m. Speak at Wright County Economic Development Partnership.
  • 2 p.m. Attend classified FBI briefing.
  • 3:15 p.m. Film weekly video.
  • 4 p.m. Debate prep.
  • 5:20 p.m. Candidate forum.
  • 8 p.m. Returns home.

Tuesday – Oct. 18

  • Wakes up.
  • Goes for a run.
  • 8 a.m. Departs house.
  • 9 a.m. Star Tribune editorial board meeting.
  • 10 a.m. Newspaper interview.
  • 12:15pm a.m. Candidate forum.
  • 2 p.m. St. Johns College Republicans.
  • 4:30 p.m. Speaks at Lights on Afterschool Event.
  • 6 p.m. Speaks to class at Hamline University.
  • 8 p.m. Returns home.

His time in Washington, D.C.

With the Potomac River, National Mall and countless museums as a backdrop, Emmer has slightly more historic surroundings for his early morning runs in the nation's capital.

A typical week when the House is in session will include committee hearings, with Emmer sitting on the House Committee on Financial Services and two subcommittees on financial institutions/consumer credit and monetary policy and trade, according to GovTrack.

That's not to mention meetings with the GOP Conference, the Republican study committee, and whip time, as well as heading to the House floor for votes, debates and speeches.

His office is busy too, with industry "folks," constituents and organizations all paying him a visit, while Emmer himself will make donor calls and attend fundraisers.

"Most evenings include a reception (or five)," Alery adds.

Here's a look at a Session Day schedule for the 6th District representative.

Session Day: Sept. 13

  • Wakes up
  • Runs
  • 7 a.m. Republican Main Street Partnership Members Meeting.
  • 8 a.m. Conference meeting.
  • 9 a.m. Committee markup.
  • 9:30 a.m. Meeting with American Israel Public Affairs Committee National Council Members.
  • 11 a.m. Speaks at Brookings Executive Education Summit.
  • 11:30 a.m. Meeting with Minnesota Farm Bureau.
  • Noon Interview with Linder Farm Network.
  • 12:30 p.m. Interview with National Conference of State Legislatures.
  • 1:15 p.m. Meeting with Ambulatory Surgery Center Association.
  • 2 p.m. Meeting with Department of Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Wars.
  • 3 p.m. Stewart Mills fundraiser.
  • 3:30 p.m. Gov. Pence reception.
  • 5 p.m. Rack of Pork reception.
  • 5:30 p.m. Donor meeting.
  • 6 p.m. Dinner reception.
  • 8 p.m. Returns home

His free time

This year's House session lasted 111 days, and Rep. Emmer doesn't hang around the capital once the session week is over, flying back to Minnesota's 6th District come the end of the session.

Much like Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan, who was featured in Thursday, there's very little respite for a working congressman, with Emmer saying he took the job "understanding that it is a 24/7 position to serve" his constituents.

But, of course, he has a family, and so when he does get a bit of free time he spends it with his wife and children. This can include attending football and hockey games, "helping his wife in the yard or around the house," and going to weekly church services.

And, of course, his morning runs.

To find news, commentary, and local events leading up to the 2016 election, head to GoVoteMN.

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