Minnesota lawmakers, friends remember Rep. Jim Hagedorn

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 7:54 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 18, 2022 at 7:10 PM CST
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BLUE EARTH, Minn. (KEYC) — The passing of Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-01) is leading several lawmakers to share messages of sympathy and support for the Hagedorn family.

“Jim was a patriot. He was a great friend and I will miss him dearly,” Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal) stated.

Supporters, friends and colleagues on both sides of the political aisle paused Friday to remember the life of Hagedorn, who followed in his father’s political footsteps in our nation’s capital.

“He was very driven. He wanted to get to D.C. and try to represent southern Minnesota and the country. He talked about his dad and what his dad was able to accomplish,” Sen. Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake) recalled.

It is with a broken heart, shattered spirit and overwhelming sadness I share my husband Congressman Jim Hagedorn passed...

Posted by Jennifer Carnahan on Friday, February 18, 2022

Hagedorn’s pursuit for Capitol Hill began in 2014 with an unsuccessful run for the House of Representatives. After another failed attempt in 2016, Hagedorn secured Minnesota’s First Congressional District in 2018.

Shortly after being sworn into Congress, Hagedorn was diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer – a battle he fought until his passing.

“We talked a little bit about how fortunate he was to be from Minnesota and have the resources of the Mayo Clinic and other top-notch facilities like that,” Draheim stated.

Hagedorn’s tenure in the House of Representatives was not without its moments of scrutiny. The Office of Congressional Ethics found evidence of two employees in his office having a vested financial interest in companies paid in “significant amounts” by Hagedorn’s reelection campaign.

Despite scandal, voters reelected Hagedorn in the 2020 election, allowing him to serve southern Minnesota for another term.

“Growing up in politics, with his father serving in Congress, he got to see first-hand what a difference someone can make in Congress in learning about the issues,” Munson described. “He really got to learn how a Republic operates. That became a passion for him, he got to serve in Congress and, of course, representing his home area here in the First District was a wonderful experience for him.”

With Hagedorn’s passing, a special election will be held to find a replacement to fill the remainder of his current term in the House.

In a statement from Friends of Hagedorn, the congressman’s campaign: “During his service, Jim’s focus was always on the priorities of the region: agriculture, small business, transportation, and our world-class health care system. Moreover, he’ll forever be known as a commonsense conservative who championed fair tax policy, American energy independence, Peace Through Strength foreign policy, and southern Minnesota’s way of life and values.”

In a statement, former President Donald Trump called Hagedorn “a strong and effective legislator for the great people of Southern Minnesota.”

Minnesota Republican Party of Minnesota Chair David Hann says in a statement: “I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Congressman Jim Hagedorn last night. Our hearts go out to his wife Jennifer and all his loved ones in this difficult time. Jim lived a legacy of service to our state and our country. Please join us in praying for Jim and his loved ones in this time of sorrow.”

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt issued the following statement regarding the passing of US Congressman Jim Hagedorn. “We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Congressman Hagedorn. He had a big heart and a tremendous passion to serve the district where he and his family have lived for generations. House Republicans send our deepest condolences to his wife Jennifer, all of his family, staff, and loved ones during this difficult time.”

DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin released the following statement on the passing of Congressman Jim Hagedorn: “I was saddened to learn of the passing of Congressman Jim Hagedorn yesterday evening. I’m sending my deepest condolences to Jim’s family, friends, and loved ones, particularly his wife, Jennifer Carnahan. I hope Jim’s memory brings them joy and peace during this difficult time.”

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