How lawmakers and constituents will remember Congressman Jim Hagedorn

Congressman Jim Hagedorn died in his sleep Thursday night after battling kidney cancer since he was first diagnosed in 2019.
Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 6:32 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Congressman Jim Hagedorn died in his sleep Thursday night after battling kidney cancer since he was first diagnosed in 2019.

Hagedorn represented Minnesota’s First Congressional District, which covers southern counties across the state, since 2019.

“Jim and I met on a campaign trail. He had run a couple times before he’d won. Very active campaigner. He was at every small town parade, a lot of meetings in and around the district. I was very fortunate to get to know him very well and consider him a close friend,” Senator Rich Draheim said.

“Today I join Congressman Jim Hagedorn’s family and friends in mourning his passing. Through his battle against cancer, he showed a level of determination that should inspire us all. Jim was a passionate advocate for Southern Minnesota and his district. Since being elected to Congress, he has pushed for critical infrastructure projects like Highway 14 that have made life better for people in our state. I send my deepest condolences to Jennifer and all of Jim’s loved ones.” U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar said.

“We had sad news here in Minnesota today and I want to express my deepest sympathies from myself, my family and from all Minnesotans to Congressman Hagedorn’s wife and to his family. His death at a way too young an age is a loss and we express our deepest condolences,” Governor Tim Walz said.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman Jim Hagedorn. He served the district with honor and he will be greatly missed. Janel and I send our condolences to his family and friends as they mourn this loss,” Senate Majority Jeremy Miller said.

Politics actually ran in the family. As a kid, his father, Tom Hagedorn, was elected to Congress to represent Minnesota’s Second Congressional District.

“He was very driven. He knew he wanted to get to D.C. to try to improve the lives of Southern Minnesotans,” Draheim said.

One of those lives is Pine Island resident Duane Albert who actually worked with Hagedorn in 2019 to hold a town hall right on his farm to discuss trade and ethanol issues at farms. Albert is the Chair of The Minnesota Agricultural Interpretive Center.

“Jim and his staff orchestrated all of that. Having a trade representative right here on the farm was kind of a big deal,” Albert said.

Albert says having the agricultural industry represented in Washington was a major win for farmers.

“Jim Hagedorn represented those of us who are still left. He was also looking at the economic side, trying very hard to improve the economy of agriculture. Having someone in our corner was very important in Washington, D.C.,” Albert said.

While Hagedorn spent a lot of time in Washington, he will be remembered the most by the people he represented in Southern, Minnesota.

“He was literally at every meeting for years, and campaigning, getting to know people. He fought for the little guy,” Draheim said.

“He’s going to be remembered as an optimistic hardworking Congressman who always put the farmers of southern Minnesota, the people of southern Minnesota first,” Albert said.

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