Updated Feb 18, 2022 - Politics

Minnesota Rep. Jim Hagedorn dies after cancer battle

Jim Hagedorn

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Minnesota U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn died Thursday following a yearslong battle with kidney cancer. He was 59.

  • The news was confirmed in a Facebook post Friday morning from his wife, former Minnesota Republican Party chair Jennifer Carnahan.

What they're saying: "Jim loved our country and loved representing the people of southern Minnesota," Carnahan 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."

Context: The Faribault County Republican was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in 2019.

  • Doctors successfully removed the affected kidney in late 2020, but he announced last summer that the cancer had returned.

Bio, in brief: The Blue Earth native, the son of former GOP U.S. Rep. Tom Hagedorn, worked as an aide to GOP politicians and for the Department of Treasury before running for office.

  • After two unsuccessful bids, he was elected to represent southern Minnesota's 1st Congressional District in 2018. He won that race by less than 1,500 votes, flipping a seat that had been held by Democrats for more than a decade.
  • Hagedorn, who defeated DFL challenger Dan Feehan a second time in 2020 by a three-point margin, had signaled plans to run for re-election as recently as this week.

What's next: A special election will be held to fill the final months of Hagedorn's current term.

  • The primary will take place on May 24, with the general scheduled for Aug. 9, the same day as the regular primary, according to Secretary of State Steve Simon.
  • Voters will still choose a representative for the full two-year term that starts in 2023 in November.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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