Editorial: Hard-working Hagedorn
Jim Hagedorn stopped by the Daily Globe newsroom Tuesday, the latest in numerous visits he’s made since first declaring his intent to challenge four-term Democratic incumbent Tim Walz for his seat in Congress.
Hagedorn has so far demonstrated he’s a worthy adversary. He dropped out of the race following the Republican Party’s endorsement of Aaron Miller to face Walz, but jumped back in when he concluded Miller wasn’t mounting an aggressive enough campaign. Hagedorn went on to easily topple Miller in last month’s primary — many called his win an upset, but we weren’t at all surprised considering Miller had been all but invisible in this region since an initial stop soon after his endorsement.
Walz and Hagedorn may be political opposites, but Hagedorn’s campaign does bear some similarity to the one Walz ran eight years ago when he surprised well-entrenched Republican incumbent Gil Gutknecht. Walz pounded the southwest Minnesota pavement with a tenacity that demonstrated deep interest in his future constituents, and came across as an everyman who didn’t embody the style and manner of a typical politician. These two factors — and the fact that 2006 happened to be a good year for Democrats across the country — helped catapult the first-time candidate to Washington.
Hagedorn isn’t a first-time candidate — he ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nod to face Walz in 2010 — but he’s been making a strong effort across the 1st Congressional District to meet voters and find out what’s on their minds. To hear Hagedorn say it Tuesday, disenchantment with Walz and President Obama is widespread across the region, thanks to a litany of failed liberal policies.
Whether Hagedorn is exaggerating such a malaise remains to be seen, but if history is any indication, November may well be tough on Walz and his fellow Democrats — especially if Hagedorn continues to work as hard as he has thus far.