By Marie Zimmerman, Jackson County Pilot - Jim Hagedorn will once again challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Walz for the right to represent Minnesota’s first congressional district, which includes Jackson and 20 other counties spanning southern Minnesota.
Hagedorn, who resides in Blue Earth, announced his bid for congress earlier this month, promising to bring his conservative Republican values to bear on problems he says Walz and other Democrats have created.
Walz has served five terms, beginning in 2006. Hagedorn, who is retired, ran against him in 2014, but lost, his second unsuccessful bid for the seat, his first being in 2010.
Issues Hagedorn feels are most pressing are defending Americans against threats from Islamic jihadists, boosting the economy, sustaining U.S. agriculture through support of family farms and protecting the U.S. Constitution, America’s borders and small-town values.
In particular, Hagedorn took aim at Walz’s support of agriculture, calling him a “part-time” advocate for agriculture.
“Commodity prices are low; they’re getting squeezed out there. … Every time we lose another family farm, we have fewer people in our cities,” Hagedorn said.
On social issues, Hagedorn plans to take aim at the Affordable Care Act, which he feels has put undue strain on employers and health care providers. Instead, he favors free-market solutions involving a pool for people with pre-existing conditions and health savings accounts backed up by catastrophic coverage.
“That would encourage people to shop for their medical care,” Hagedorn said.
A ban on late-term abortions is also on Hagedorn’s priority list, as well as reinstating a work for welfare program.
“Government should protect the most vulnerable,” he said.
A total of 469 seats in the U.S. Congress — four Senate seats and all 435 House seats — are up for election on Nov. 8, 2016.