Hagedorn working to share message

Published 10:44 am Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A week after winning an upset victory in the Republican race for the 1st District U.S. House of Representatives seat, Blue Earth man Jim Hagedorn said he is working diligently to share his message.



Hagedorn was in Austin on Tuesday for a Mower County Republican Party’s Lincoln to Reagan picnic and to stop at several Main Street and local businesses to talk with voters.

After defeating Byron businessman Aaron Miller last week, Hagedorn will now face incumbent House Rep. Tim Walz, DFL-Mankato, in the November general election.

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He’s looking to use the same technique where he gets out and engages the people in his campaign against Walz.

“I feel like one of the reasons we won is we respected the people and we engaged them personally,” he said.

Now, he’s running a campaign that has him describing himself as the “insurgent-challenger” to Walz, meaning he plans to focus on the congressman’s record.

“We believe his record of big government tied to President [Barack] Obama is hurting the people and that we have alternatives,” he said.

Hagedorn talked about limiting the power of the federal government today. He said people are seeing added costs from new regulations, the health insurance exchange and a restrictive energy policy.

He also said the Dodd-Frank Act and Affordable Care Act are limiting economic opportunities.

“We need to get back to what works, and that’s solutions based on free enterprise, limited government and the rule of law,” he said.

As for immigration, Hagedorn supports first securing the border.

“Nothing will work until we can secure the border of the United States,” he said.

He does not support amnesty or a pathway to citizenship; instead, he’d want people to go back to their home country before they could petition for citizenship. He argued it wouldn’t disrupt the economy if it was done gradually.

“We have to have an orderly transition back to the rules of law,” he said.

Then he’d support a work program, but only where work is needed.

If he were elected, he said he would work to appeal Obamacare and replace it with a healthcare system where people purchase their own products.

He said they are able to get a 75 percent subsidy, and there is no reason that can’t be the same for everyone. He called for tax credits to go to people individually so they can go out and purchase their own health care.

He said Walz has sided with Democratic President Barack Obama on most issues, particularly involving spending. He noted that Obama inherited a Middle East that was stable, and now the whole thing has been turned “upside down.” Hagedorn said he’d prefer Reagan’s peace-through-force approach over ground forces

“We should be supporting that government any way we can — arming them, training them, perhaps surgical airstrikes — but I am not for reintroducing ground troops,” he said. “Not at this point.”

Hagedorn said the country needs to get back to a limited government, free enterprise and rule of law.

Now, Hagedorn is telling Republicans that he plans to continue engaging Walz on the issues.

“All I can do is my best to try to earn their vote,” he said.

Sarah Stultz contributed to this report.