Hagedorn challenging Walz

Jason SorensenFairmont Sentinel - FAIRMONT - Blue Earth resident Jim Hagedorn is once again running for Congress in Minnesota's First District.
Hagedorn was the Republican candidate in the district in 2014, and managed to get more than 60 percent of the vote in Martin County. However, Congressman Tim Walz defeated Hagedorn, 54 percent to 46 percent, overall.

On Monday, Hagedorn had an opportunity to meet with Martin County friends and supporters at the Ranch Family Restaurant in Fairmont.

Hagedorn reported he has been attending a few county conventions, and was glad to be able to visit with supporters in Martin County.

"In a big district like this, you have to keep connected and keep getting around," he said. "I appreciate people coming out and being here, it's a real shot in the arm. Right now, each of the counties are getting together and they're deciding who the delegates will be to the district convention and then the state convention. Nobody else is running, so we've got a clear shot at Walz, and I think this is our time."

Touching on his agenda, Hagedorn went over some of his priorities. These include a military and foreign policy of peace through strength; securing American borders; and striving for energy independence.

"These are big substantial changes that the Left is not going to want," he said. "So when we get to Washington and start doing these things, we all have to stand together, because they're going to be protesting every day."

Several people in attendance Monday were eager to ask questions, and Hagedorn stood ready to answer. One person asked if the election process is going to be honest, as they are concerned about people voting more than once.

"Everyone should have to present an ID when they vote," Hagedorn said. "It's ridiculous that governments don't know exactly who's coming in to polling places, or allowing people to vouch for people who don't have IDs."

Another person stated that while he has been a Republican voter for most of his life, he is considering becoming an independent, because the Republican Party might be appealing to racist ideologies.

"If we're afraid of immigrants, the party is doomed," the man said. "One of the things I think we need to look at is that the American Dream is supposed to be a part of the Republican platform. We have to stop illegal immigration, but we need to reach out and be the party that says this is the land of opportunity, and we're going to give you opportunities to start families and businesses, and produce."

"I have to say that I take a very strong stand against illegal immigration," Hagedorn responded. "And I think we have to go back to the rule of law in those areas. It's not because we hate anybody or are afraid of anybody, but not everyone coming into the United States, legally or illegally has wanted to assimilate and become a part of the American dream."

Hagedorn also addressed the important role of agriculture in his campaign.

"This is an agricultural-based district. One thing that a congressperson from this district should never do is add on extra cost to the farmers that are unnecessary."

He went on to say he believes Walz has done just that, through various regulations he has supported.

Commenting on what is happening with the Republican Party at a national level, Hagedorn said that whoever the eventual candidate is, he will be happy to run with that person.

"People don't want Obama's third term, and that's what the Democrats offer up," he said. "We offer up substantial change, no matter who our candidate is."