Hagedorn announces plans to run against Walz, Miller

Published 10:16 am Monday, May 19, 2014

By Austin Daily Herald and Associated Press

A candidate who pledged not to force a Republican primary in Minnesota’s First Congressional District has changed his mind.

Jim Hagedorn was one of three GOP candidates vying for the party’s nomination last month.

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State Rep. Mike Benson lost in first two rounds of balloting and dropped after the second round. That left Hagedorn and Byron businessman Aaron Miller. In the third round, Miller got 56 percent of the vote. That was short of the 60 percent needed for victory, but Hagedorn agreed to step aside for the sake of party unity.

Before the convention — held at Southwest Middle School in Albert Lea on April 5 — all candidates agreed to abide by the vote of the delegates rather than force a Republican primary in August. The winner would challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Walz this fall.

However, Hagedorn said Sunday he’s re-entering the race because Miller isn’t doing enough to run a full-time campaign and outwork Walz.

“The endorsed candidate has not fulfilled the promises to run a fulltime campaign and outwork Walz,” he said in a press release. “I am ready to reconnect with the people and devote 100 percent of my time and energy taking the race and issues to Tim Walz.”

As of press time, Miller’s team has not issued a statement in response.