Back for another campaign
Jim Hagedorn wants to take another stab at it.
The Blue Earth native and sometimes resident is back to try again to become the Republican candidate to run against U.S. Congressman Tim Walz a year from now in the November 2014 election.
Five years ago he tried it for the first time and failed to get the GOP nod.
“I hope I am a better candidate this time,” Hagedorn said in an interview at the Faribault County Register last week. “I am going to focus on Tim Walz, and make sure people know he is the most liberal congressman the First District has ever had.”
Hagedorn was born in Blue Earth, but moved to the family farm just outside Truman when he was a young man.
“I feel as though I have two hometowns, Blue Earth and Truman,” he says. “But, I really like Blue Earth. I have family here. I was born here and I will be buried here, in the family plot out at Riverside.”
In 2009 Hagedorn moved back to Blue Earth to run against Walz, but lost the Republican nomination to Randy Demmer of Rochester. Hagedorn left Blue Earth then in 2010.
“I had both personal and business issues that I had to take care of which meant I had to leave,” he says. “But, I have always returned to visit this town over the years.”
Now he is back and has once more taken up residence in the city of the Green Giant.
Hagedorn officially announced his intention to be a candidate for the First Congressional District seat last week at a farm near Good Thunder. The site was chosen because it is in the exact center of the large district that stretches across the southern counties of Minnesota. Hagedorn says he knows the strategy in the election campaign will be to try and hold his own in the larger cities of Rochester, Austin, Albert Lea and Mankato, then do extremely well in the rural areas of the district.
But, before he can campaign for the seat against Walz the Democrat, he has to beat out at least three others who want the Republican endorsement also.
State Rep. Mike Benson and former State senators Al Dekruif and Mike Parry have all declared to be candidates or have expressed an interest. So has Byron resident Aaron Miller.
Hagedorn thinks he has the experience to make him the best choice for a candidate to run against Walz.
After graduating from George Mason University with a B.S. degree in government and politics, Hagedorn worked as a legislative assistant to former Congressman Arlen Stangeland.
He also worked in several government agencies, leading several programs designed to trim back government funding and spending.
“I utilized my positions on Capitol Hill and within the Executive Branch to implement conservative solutions and fight the bureaucracy,” Hagedorn says. “Now I am running for Congress to attack and reform the federal bureaucracy and quash excessive regulation.”
While he adds that he wants to go to Congress to take back power from the Washington, D.C., establishment and return it to the states and the people, he adds there is another motive.
“I’m running for Congress to replace liberal Tim Walz, who has sided with President Obama and the left wing of the Democratic Party, instead of with southern Minnesotans,” he says. “I plan on taking this fight right to Mr. Walz.”
Hagedorn disagrees so strongly with Walz on many issues that he attended Walz’s community forum held in St. Peter last week at the St. Peter Food Co-op.
“I was very respectful, but we had a lively discussion for a few minutes on many issues,” Hagedorn says. “He was already hearing from almost everyone there that they did not want him supporting going into Syria.”
Now, Hagedorn will spend the next several months out on the campaign trail trying to woo Republican delegates to choose him as their candidate early next year.
That will put his name on the ballot in November of 2014.