Political battles often become divisive and ugly in Washington, D.C. However, it’s sometimes necessary to pause and remember that the people fighting those battles are just that — people.
Minnesota Rep. Jim Hagedorn passed away after a years-long battle with kidney cancer. The 59-year-old Republican won his Congressional seat in 2018 and served the same district his father had.
“Jim loved our country and loved representing the people of southern Minnesota,” his wife Jennifer Carnahan wrote Friday on social media “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,” Carnahan added. During his short time in office, Hagedorn managed to turn his district more conservative and away from its Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party roots.
Hagedorn sat on the House Agriculture Committee, a position that served his rural Minnesota constituents well. He also was a member of the Republican Study Committee, a conservative group, and also fought to stop the 2020 presidential election results from being certified.
The congressman enjoyed the respect of his colleagues. “Jim and I served in the U.S. House during a time of many great challenges for our nation and for our state — and all the while, he bravely endured the personal challenge of cancer treatment with dignity and grace while serving our country and his constituents,” Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) wrote in a statement.
In April 2019, Hagedorn announced he had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. “Despite our policy differences on many issues, Jim and I were united in the common goal of achieving greater opportunities for future generations of Minnesotans,” she added.
As a public servant, Hagedorn added to the public discourse and advanced the American story. Now his death makes him part of our history.