Minnesota Republican Representative Jim Hagedorn has died at age 59 following a multi-year battle with kidney cancer.
Hagedorn’s wife, Jennifer Carnahan, confirmed the news on Friday on Facebook.
“Jim loved our country and loved representing the people of southern Minnesota,” Carnahan, a former Minnesota Republican Party Chair wrote. “Every moment of every day he lived his dream by serving others. There was no stronger conservative in our state than my husband; and it showed in how he voted, led and fought for our country.”
In 2020, Hagedorn had a kidney removed after a diagnosis of cancer in 2019. Over the summer, he said that the cancer had come back.
“Hagedorn, a longtime GOP political aide and son of former GOP Rep. Tom Hagedorn, was first elected to represent southern Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District in 2018,” Axios reported. In his first race, he narrowly defeated a Democrat incumbent by 1,500 votes. Democrats had held his seat for over ten years prior to his upset victory. His margin of victory expanded to three points in 2020.
During his tenure in Congress, Hagedorn spoke about giving power back to the people.
According to the StarTribune, he said he was working on, “how do you take power from Washington and give it back to the people, and some of that is how do you make sure people have the flexibility to use their money how they see fit — not the way the government tells them to.”
Though the news was confirmed on Friday, the Republican died with his family present on Thursday.
“During his service, Jim’s focus was always on the priorities of the region: agriculture, small business, transportation, and our world class health care system,” said a statement from Hagedorn’s campaign. “Moreover, he’ll forever be known as a commonsense conservative who championed fair tax policy, American energy independence, Peace Through Strength foreign policy, and southern Minnesota’s way of life and values.”
Minnesota GOP Chairman David Hann expressed sorrow at the news of Hagedorn’s death.
“Our hearts go out to his wife Jennifer and all his loved ones in this difficult time. Jim lived a legacy of service to our state and our country. Please join us in praying for Jim and his loved ones in this time of sorrow,” Hann said.
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