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Like father, like son — so Jim Hagedorn hopes

By Staff | Mar 7, 2010

It has been an interesting 87 days (as of Monday, March 1) for congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn of Blue Earth.

And, it will be another interesting 47 days coming up.

Hagedorn has been on the campaign trail for the past three months. His goal is to become the Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress from Minnesota’s First District, a seat currently held by Democrat Tim Walz.

He will find out if he is the party’s choice when the GOP District Convention is held on April 17 in Mankato.

Right now, Hagedorn isn’t even sure if he is Faribault County’s choice. Their convention was set for this past Saturday.

Right now, Hagedorn says he has been busy attending county conventions all over the First District and meeting with as many Republican county officers as he can.

Then he is meeting with as many county delegates as he can.

His goal, of course, is to convince them that he is the best candidate to put forward to defeat Walz in this fall’s election.

His credentials are pretty impressive. Hagedorn has been living in the Washington, D.C. area for 20-plus years. He has worked for government agencies and for Congress.

No one, he says, is better versed in the issues than he is. His reasoning? He has been in Washington for 20 plus years.

He does, however, have two pieces of baggage working against his effort to become the Republican candidate.

One, he has never run for political office before. Not even for City Council. It is a pretty big leap to seek a congressional seat as your first political office.

Second, he has lived in the Washington area for years, and only moved to Blue Earth last summer.

I am sure the term ‘carpetbagger’ is going to come up during the convention and the campaign. It certainly appears that Hagedorn moved here simply to run for Congress.

Of course, isn’t that what Hillary Clinton did? She moved to New York simply to run for the Senate seat there?

And, she won it.

Hagedorn’s name isn’t quite as well known as Hillary Clinton. But, his name does have some recognition in political circles in this area.

Jim’s father, Tom Hagedorn, was the Second District Congressman (as this area was known as before re-districting) back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

We ran a story in the Register back when Jim Hagedorn first moved here and announced his candidacy for Congress. The story then had more information about his family history and when he actually lived in Blue Earth as a child.

Last Monday, Tom Hagedorn, the former congressman, was in Blue Earth doing a little campaigning for his son, Jim, the congressman wannabe.

Now, having a former congressman as your father might be helpful with the local Republican county officers. I would suppose that would have some influence with the delegates.

But, Tom Hagedorn might be a bigger help to his son with his knowledge. He knows how this political process really works.

You have to go and ask for the vote, the senior Hagedorn says. Whether it is the vote of the delegates, or the general public later, he says you have to ask for that person’s vote.

At the convention, all four of the potential Walz contenders will have a chance to ask for that vote. And, they will have a chance to tell why they are they best choice as a person to run against the incumbent congressman.

It will be interesting to see if the delegates agree with Jim Hagedorn – and choose him.