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Jim Hagedorn

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Jim Hagedorn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2019 – February 17, 2022
Preceded byTim Walz
Succeeded byBrad Finstad
Personal details
James Lee Hagedorn

(1962-08-04)August 4, 1962
Blue Earth, Minnesota, U.S.
DiedFebruary 17, 2022(2022-02-17) (aged 59)
Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.
Resting place
  • Riverside Cemetery
  • Blue Earth, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
(m. 2018)
RelativesTom Hagedorn (father)
EducationGeorge Mason University (BA)

James Lee Hagedorn (/ˈhæɡɛdɔːrn/ HAG-e-dorn; August 4, 1962 – February 17, 2022) was an American politician from Minnesota. A Republican, he was the U.S. representative for Minnesota's 1st congressional district from 2019 until his death.[1] The district stretches across southern Minnesota along the border with Iowa and includes Rochester, Austin, and Mankato.

Early life and education[edit]

Hagedorn was born in Blue Earth, Minnesota, in 1962,[2] the son of former U.S. Representative Tom Hagedorn and Kathleen Hagedorn (née Mittlestadt).[3] He was raised on his family's farm near Truman, Minnesota, and in McLean, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., while his father served in Congress from 1975 to 1983.[4][5] Hagedorn graduated from Langley High School.[6]

He graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and political science in 1993.[6][7]

Early political career[edit]

Government career[edit]

Hagedorn greeting President Ronald Reagan in 1982

Hagedorn served as a legislative aide to U.S. Representative Arlan Stangeland from 1984 to 1991.[6] He then worked in the United States Department of the Treasury as director for legislative and public affairs for the Financial Management Service from 1991 to 1998 and as congressional affairs officer for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing until 2009.[6][8]

Mr. Conservative blog[edit]

From 2002 to 2008, Hagedorn authored a now-deleted blog, Mr. Conservative. According to Mother Jones, the blog made Native Americans a "favorite punching bag" and commented on female Supreme Court justices and Barack Obama's ancestry "in ways many voters won't appreciate".[9] Hagedorn said the blog was intended to be humorous and satirical.[10]

Hagedorn's blogging history led the conservative newspaper the Washington Examiner to run an editorial calling him "the worst midterm candidate in America" in 2018.[11][12]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



Hagedorn lost the Republican nomination for Minnesota's 1st congressional district in the 2010 election.[6][13][14]


Returning to Minnesota in 2013, he won the Republican nomination, but lost to Democratic incumbent Tim Walz.[15][6]

2014 Republican primary results[16]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jim Hagedorn 12,748 54.0
Republican Aaron Miller 10,870 46.0
Minnesota's 1st congressional district, 2014[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic (DFL) Tim Walz (incumbent) 122,851 54.2
Republican Jim Hagedorn 103,536 45.7
Write-in 308 0.1


Hagedorn again won the Republican nomination, and again lost to Walz in a closer race.[6]

2016 Republican primary results[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jim Hagedorn 10,851 76.5
Republican Steve Williams 3,330 23.5
Minnesota's 1st congressional district, 2016[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic (DFL) Tim Walz (incumbent) 169,074 50.3
Republican Jim Hagedorn 166,526 49.6
Write-in 277 0.1


Hagedorn received the Republican nomination, despite the National Rifle Association endorsing another candidate, state Senator Carla Nelson, who also received funds from Representatives Elise Stefanik, Richard Uihlein and Paul Singer. Hagedorn described himself as the most conservative candidate, who was loyal to Donald Trump.[20]

2018 Republican primary results[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jim Hagedorn 25,418 60.1
Republican Carla Nelson 13,589 32.2
Republican Steve Williams 2,145 5.1
Republican Andrew Candler 1,106 2.6

After Hagedorn won the primary, then-head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Representative Steve Stivers, said of the viewpoints expressed on Hagedorn's blog, "that is news to me". The NRCC spokeswoman said the posts were inappropriate and not condoned by the group.[22]

In the general election, with Walz giving up the seat to run for governor of Minnesota, Hagedorn defeated Democratic nominee Daniel Feehan, a former Department of Defense official, in a very close race.[1]

Minnesota's 1st congressional district, 2018[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jim Hagedorn 146,199 50.1
Democratic (DFL) Dan Feehan 144,884 49.7
Write-in 575 0.2


Hagedorn was reelected in 2020, narrowly defeating Feehan again.[24]

Minnesota's 1st congressional district, 2020[25]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jim Hagedorn (incumbent) 179,234 48.6
Democratic (DFL) Dan Feehan 167,890 45.5
Grassroots Bill Rood 21,448 5.8
Write-in 284 0.1


According to the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, Hagedorn held a Bipartisan Index Score of -0.0 in the 116th United States Congress for 2019, placing him 190th out of 435 members.[26] Based on FiveThirtyEight's congressional vote tracker at ABC News, Hagedorn voted with Donald Trump's stated public policy positions 94.4% of the time,[27] making him average in the 116th United States Congress according to predictive scoring (district partisanship and voting record).[28]

Depictions of Jesus[edit]

In 2020, in response to activist Shaun King saying that depictions of Jesus as white should be destroyed, Hagedorn wrote that the Democratic Party and Black Lives Matter movement "are at war with our country, our beliefs and western culture." In response to critiques that the term "Western culture" has been used to promote white nationalism, Hagedorn said, "The notion that statues and images of Jesus Christ somehow represent white supremacy and should be destroyed is ludicrous and represent a growing intolerant movement on the left to silence any voices that do not align with their radical secular views."[29] His comments led several corporate donors, including Intel and UnitedHealth Group, to ask him to return their donations.[30][31]

Office funding[edit]

In 2020, LegiStorm released an analysis of Hagedorn's office spending, finding that the office had spent more than one fifth of its $1.4 million annual office budget on publicly funded constituent mail. Around 40% of his office's annual budget was spent in the first quarter of 2020, surpassing any other member of Congress during the same time period.[32] Some expenses for Hagedorn's mailings went to a firm partially owned by a part-time Hagedorn staffer.[33] Hagedorn initiated an internal review of his office's spending and reported the findings to the House Ethics Committee, which declined to pursue the matter.[34] As a result of the internal review, Hagedorn dismissed his chief of staff and said, "I acknowledge responsibility for the oversight of my office and will continue to make any necessary management improvements."[35][33]

In October 2020, Politico alleged that Hagedorn "appears to have enjoyed rent-free use of a campaign office supplied by a political donor."[36] Hagedorn denied the report, saying his campaign had leased a post office box and not office space in the building in question.[37]

Contesting election results[edit]

In December 2020, Hagedorn was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[38] Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[39][40][41]

On January 7, 2021, Hagedorn objected to the certification of the 2020 presidential election results in Congress based on false claims of voter fraud.[42]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Hagedorn was married to Jennifer Carnahan, who chaired the Republican Party of Minnesota until 2021.[48] They lived in Blue Earth, Minnesota.[7]

Hagedorn was Lutheran.[49]

Health and death[edit]

Hagedorn was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in 2019[50] and subsequently received immunotherapy. In December 2020, he underwent surgery to remove the diseased kidney.[51] In July 2021, Hagedorn announced that his cancer had returned.[52]

In January 2022, Hagedorn was admitted to the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, after testing positive for COVID-19; he had previously been vaccinated against the disease.[53][54] Hagedorn died on February 17, 2022, at the age of 59.[55] He was buried at Riverside Cemetery in Blue Earth.[56]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rao, Maya (November 7, 2018). "GOP's Jim Hagedorn wins Minnesota's First District seat on fourth try". Star Tribune. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  2. ^ "Candidate Conversation - Jim Hagedorn (R)". Inside Elections. June 2, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  3. ^ Holt, Marjorie (1976). The Case Against the Reckless Congress. Green Hill Publishers. ISBN 9780916054083. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  4. ^ "Jim Hagedorn". Greater Mankato Growth. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  5. ^ Mewes, Trey (August 10, 2018). "GOP voters to decide between Hagedorn and Nelson". Mankato Free Press. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Biography - Jim Hagedorn (1962)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Jim Hagedorn's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  8. ^ Karnowski, Steve (October 12, 2018). "MN 1st District candidates Jim Hagedorn, Dan Feehan debate". Twincities.com. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  9. ^ Murphy, Tim (April 22, 2014). "House candidate called female senators "undeserving bimbos in tennis shoes"". Mother Jones. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  10. ^ Lopez, Ricardo (August 23, 2014). "GOP U.S. House hopeful Jim Hagedorn defends old blog posts now under fire". Star Tribune. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  11. ^ Wegmann, Philip (April 10, 2018). "Jim Hagedorn: The worst Republican candidate in America?". Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  12. ^ Jones, Hannah (August 21, 2018). "U.S. House control could hinge on Minnesota's Jim Hagedorn, 'worst Republican candidate in America'". City Pages. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  13. ^ Pathé, Simone (August 14, 2018). "Hagedorn Wins GOP Nomination for Toss-Up Minnesota Race". Roll Call. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  14. ^ Syed, Moiz; Willis, Derek (October 15, 2009). "Two GOP candidates with familiar names consider run against Walz". Post-Bulletin. Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  15. ^ Hunt, Chuck (November 15, 2013). "Back for another campaign". Faribault County Register. Retrieved July 24, 2020. The Blue Earth native and sometimes resident is back to try again to become the Republican candidate to run against U.S. Congressman Tim Walz a year from now in the November 2014 election.
  16. ^ "Results for U.S. Representative District 1, 2014". Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  17. ^ "Results for All Congressional Districts, 2014". Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  18. ^ "August 9, 2016 Primary Election Unofficial Results". Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. Minnesota Secretary of State. August 9, 2016. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  19. ^ "November 8, 2016 General Election Unofficial Results". Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. Minnesota Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  20. ^ Pathé, Simone (August 10, 2018). "In Minnesota's 1st District, a Test Between New and Old GOP Candidates - Roll Call". Roll Call. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  21. ^ "Results for U.S. Representative District 1". Minnesota Secretary of State. August 17, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  22. ^ Markay, Lachlan; Kucinich, Jackie (November 12, 2018). "GOP Chief Shocked to Discover His Candidate's Crazy Remarks". The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  23. ^ "Results for U.S. Representative District 1". Minnesota Secretary of State. November 19, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  24. ^ Bierschbach, Briana (November 5, 2020). "U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn wins re-election in Minnesota's First District". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  25. ^ "Results for U.S. Representative District 1". Minnesota Secretary of State. November 19, 2020. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  26. ^ The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index House Scores 116th Congress First Session (2019) (PDF) (Report). Georgetown University. May 13, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  27. ^ "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump - Jim Hagedorn". FiveThirtyEight. ABC News. January 30, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  28. ^ "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. ABC News. January 30, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  29. ^ Brice-Saddler, Michael (June 24, 2020). "GOP lawmakers launch new attacks on Black Lives Matter protesters". Washington Post. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  30. ^ Stolle, Matthew (July 26, 2020). "Hagedorn gets corporate blowback from BLM comments". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  31. ^ "Intel Calls For Minnesota Rep. Hagedorn To Return Campaign Donation Following Black Lives Matter Criticsm [sic]". WCCO. July 23, 2020. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  32. ^ "Rep. Hagedorn spent 40 percent of his 2020 budget in just 3 months - Caught Our Eye". www.legistorm.com. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  33. ^ a b Schneider, Gabe (August 25, 2020). "The other mail scandal: Rep. Jim Hagedorn's office spending problems, explained". MinnPost. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  34. ^ "U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn says internal review resolved spending questions; DFL says not so fast". St. Paul Pioneer Press. September 9, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  35. ^ Condon, Patrick; Bierschbach, Briana (August 26, 2020). "E-mails show U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn involved with constituent mail decisions". Star Tribune. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  36. ^ Newhauser, Daniel (October 9, 2020). "The mystery of a GOP congressman's seemingly rent-free campaign office". Politico. Retrieved October 9, 2020.[permanent dead link]
  37. ^ Andrego, Lauren (October 12, 2020). "Hagedorn denies report his campaign used rent-free office". KEYC. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  38. ^ Blood, Michael R.; Riccardi, Nicholas (December 5, 2020). "Biden officially secures enough electors to become president". AP News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  39. ^ Liptak, Adam (December 11, 2020). "Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  40. ^ Order in Pending Case (PDF) (Report). Supreme Court of the United States. December 11, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  41. ^ Diaz, Daniella. "Brief from 126 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court". CNN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  42. ^ Yourish, Karen; Buchanan, Larry; Lu, Denise (January 7, 2021). "The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  43. ^ "Hagedorn asks Perdue to ensure independent producers treated fairly". National Hog Farmer. May 19, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  44. ^ "Peterson, Conaway Announce House Agriculture Subcommittee Rosters for the 116th Congress". Hoard's Dairyman. February 8, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  45. ^ Din, Benjamin (June 16, 2021). "The dawn of the age of Khan". Politico. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  46. ^ "Committees of the 116th Congress - House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce". www.c-span.org. C-SPAN. Archived from the original on February 19, 2022. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  47. ^ "Republican Study Committee Membership". Republican Study Committee. December 6, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  48. ^ "GOP donor sentenced to 21 years for sex trafficking minors". Associated Press. August 9, 2023. Archived from the original on August 9, 2023. Retrieved August 9, 2023 – via Star-Advertiser.
  49. ^ Religious affiliation of members of 116th Congress (PDF) (Report). Pew Research Center. January 3, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2023.
  50. ^ Marquette, Chris (February 20, 2019). "Rep. Jim Hagedorn announces he has kidney cancer". Roll Call. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  51. ^ Stolle, Matthew (December 28, 2020). "Doctors encouraged by Hagedorn's progress, congressman says". Post-Bulletin. Archived from the original on October 17, 2021. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  52. ^ "Rep. Jim Hagedorn Announces Recurrence Of Kidney Cancer". WCCO. July 7, 2021. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  53. ^ Watson, Kathryn (February 18, 2022). "Congressman Jim Hagedorn of Minnesota dies at 59". CBS News. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  54. ^ Zanona, Melanie (February 18, 2022). "GOP Rep. Jim Hagedorn of Minnesota has died". CNN.
  55. ^ "US Rep. Hagedorn dies at age 59". KSTP. February 18, 2022. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  56. ^ McShane, Michael (March 4, 2022). "Congressman Jim Hagedorn to be laid to rest today". KEYC. Retrieved March 17, 2022.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by