Miller, Hagedorn vie for right to face Walz

The race to challenge U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minnesota, is on.

Republican voters will decide Tuesday whether Aaron Miller or Jim Hagedorn will face off against Walz in November.

The primary race became heated after the GOP endorsed Aaron Miller in April. Though Miller, Hagedorn and State Rep. Mike Benson, R-Rochester, agreed to abide by the GOP endorsement and not run in a primary, Hagedorn restarted his campaign in May after he said Miller wasn’t aggressive enough against Walz. Both candidates visited Austin over the past week.

Though Hagedorn has gone on the attack against both Miller and Walz for the past few months, Miller has said his campaign remains focused on winning the First Congressional District House seat.

“The primary for us is just another date on the calendar,” Miller said. “We’re just focused on November.”

Hagedorn said Tuesday he still believes Miller hasn’t done enough in the campaign. Hagedorn’s campaign also pointed out increasing conservative support throughout the region in a press release last week.

“We have strong support within the Republican hierarchy within this district,” Hagedorn said.

The two share similar thoughts on several issues. Both would work toward repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and replace it with other health insurance concepts like interstate health insurance markets. Each candidate would also like to see the Environmental Protection Agency

Miller and Hagedorn also believe serious changes need to be made to U.S. fiscal policy, whether it’s reducing debt spending or repealing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, also known as Dodd Frank.

“If we don’t make structural changes, I don’t see how the country continues to exist the way that forefathers envisioned it,” Hagedorn said.

The Republican candidates also say the government needs to address immigration through securing U.S. borders. Miller, who visited the Mower County Fair Friday, said federal officials should make every effort to figure out how many undocumented residents are currently in the U.S.

“We need to figure out who’s here,” Miller said. “We don’t know, is it 12 million? 13 million? We need to bring these people out of the shadows.”

Hagedorn and Miller agree undocumented residents should also apply for U.S. citizenship, though neither candidate supports any sort of amnesty for undocumented residents currently in the U.S. Miller said Friday that undocumented residents should start at the back of the process, while Hagedorn said Tuesday that undocumented workers should be made to leave the U.S. first before they apply for citizenship.

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