Third Republican challenger up against Walz

2013-09-05T00:00:00Z 2013-09-05T06:09:58Z Third Republican challenger up against WalzLee Newspapers La Crosse Tribune
September 05, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Another Republican challenger lined up Wednesday in an attempt to unseat Congressman Tim Walz.

Jim Hagedorn, who announced his candidacy Wednesday at a farm in Good Thunder south of Mankato, joins a field of two other Republican hopefuls. He is the son of former GOP Congressman Tom Hagedorn, and a former legislative staffer and federal employee. He is calling for the repeal of Obamacare.

Hagedorn, who lives in Blue Earth, joins state Rep. Mike Benson of Rochester and political newcomer Aaron Miller of Byron in the race to challenge Walz, who was first elected in 2006.

Walz arrived in Congress in 2007 after a victory the previous November over six-term Republican incumbent Gil Gutknecht, a win that came as a surprise to political insiders and many in the district, primarily because he was a political novice. Walz, a 24-year veteran of the Army National Guard and the highest-ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress, quickly established himself as an expert on veterans and other issues in Washington.

He also soon showed he could be a prodigious fundraiser: He raised about $1.8 million during his last re-election bid, and has a little less than $175,000 cash on hand, according to his latest campaign finance report that details receipts and expenses through June.

Walz handily won a fourth term in 2012, defeating challenger Allen Quist.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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