2018 Election Candidate Profile: Jim Hagedorn

By Sean Morawczynski, KEYC - (NORTH MANKATO, Minn) - Current MN-1 Representative Tim Walz is vacating his seat in Congress after this term, the office is now open for grabs.

Republican candidate Jim Hagedorn stopped by KEYC News 12's studio to share his thoughts on the race and the first district's future outlook.

"With Congressman Walz running for a different seat, it's open now. It's the best pickup opportunity in the entire country for the Republican Party," said Hagedorn. "We're very excited."

In order to flip the seat Republican, Hagedorn says he wants to follow and support the policies of the Trump administration, including the United States' position on trade.

"The concept of tariffs on both sides is a negotiating tactic; it's a temporary thing," said Hagedorn. "I'm cognizant of it, I'm concerned about it but I want people to know I'm not a fan of tariffs. I think tariffs are only good for the countries that impose them (the governments) and the industries they want to protect."

In Congress, Hagedorn says he would seek to increase the privatization of healthcare and return to pre-Obamacare policies.

"What I'd like to see is people holding their own money at a basic level in a health savings account or a universal savings account," said Hagedorn. "Those would be pre-taxed dollars, you shouldn't have to pay federal tax on monies that you use on insurance for medical care or prescription drugs. And have transparent cost."

The Republican candidate also disagrees with the Obama-era agriculture agenda.

"We were facing in Washington what I'd say out of the Obama administration was a 'war against agriculture'," said Hagedorn. "Excessive regulations like Waters of the United States, a tax policy that had a death tax that was running some generational farm families out of business. Energy policies, extremist global warming policies driving up the cost of energy."

Aligning with President Trump, Hagedorn wants a timeout on refugee resettlement and to reform that system.

"I think most years we resettle more refugees in the United States than the whole rest of the world combined," said Hagedorn. "I think we've done enough for now and we need to figure it out and reset it."

And on immigration, Hagedorn is in favor of increased border enforcement and a reworked visa system.

"We need merit-based immigration. We bring in about a million people a year legally from all over the world," said Hagedorn. "We should continue to offer legal immigration but we should make darn sure that the people coming here are going to assimilate and fit in, and perform work and other things that are going to work for all the country; all the citizens that are here now."

The general election is Tuesday November 6.