Hagedorn seeks support for U.S. Rep seat during Austin stop

Published 9:33 am Monday, May 26, 2014

Jim Hagedorn is starting his campaign once more to unseat U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Mankato, from his First Congressional District seat.

Hagedorn, of Blue Earth, announced last week he would challenge Republican nominee Aaron Miller in the Aug. 12 primary election for the GOP nomination in the U.S. House race.

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.

Yet Hagedorn called out Miller during a campaign stop in Austin on Friday for not doing enough to challenge Walz. He said “nothing” had changed over the past six weeks and Walz needed to be aggressively challenged in the upcoming election.

“The first candidate we felt was not running an active campaign,” Hagedorn said. “No issue positions out there on his website, no press releases going after Congressman Walz on his failed liberal record. [Miller was] missing key public events, such as the Albert Lea VA dedication.”

Despite state party promises to present a unified front against Walz this election, Hagedorn said the upcoming primary presented a good opportunity for residents to hear more about the conservative platform over the summer.

Hagedorn’s positions include repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, agricultural reform and decreasing government regulations overall to try to boost small businesses. Though Obamacare regulations took effect at the beginning of the year, Hagedorn believes the law can still be repealed in favor of free market competition among health care providers and insurance companies.

To that end, he advocates interstate competition among insurance companies and health savings accounts for residents.

“Anything that we can do to get money back into people’s hands and keep medicine between the doctor and patient,” Hagedorn said.

He also advocates federal deregulation of cap and trade energy policies, the Environmental Protection Agency and the repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act, a consumer protection bill passed in 2010 in response to the 2009 recession. Hagedorn has previously said the act places undue economic stress on small business owners and farmers trying to make a living.

He previously worked for former U.S. Rep. Arlan Stangeland in the 1980s, as well as the Treasury Department.