Hagedorn, Walz reflect on tight congressional race
WORTHINGTON -- Two days after his defeat at the hands of incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, Republican challenger Jim Hagedorn congratulated Walz on his re-election while thanking supporters and offering hope for a government now dominated by the GOP/...
WORTHINGTON -- Two days after his defeat at the hands of incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, Republican challenger Jim Hagedorn congratulated Walz on his re-election while thanking supporters and offering hope for a government now dominated by the GOP/
Hagedorn, of Blue Earth, noted in a press release issued Thursday that he came within 2,547 votes of defeating Mankato’s Walz. That represents a difference of .76 percent of the 335,603 total votes cast.
“The national pundits labeled this seat ‘safe Democrat,”’ Hagedorn said. “We proved them dead wrong. Had only 2 voters per precinct changed their ballot from Walz to Hagedorn, we would have pulled off the greatest upset victory of 2016. All we needed was a little more help at the end.
“To place our result in perspective, only one incumbent U.S. House Democrat was defeated in this election, that being freshman Rep. Brad Ashford of Nebraska, who ran for reelection in a strong GOP district,” Hagedorn added. “The outcome reflects the electorate’s increasing awareness and acceptance of our campaign and my ideas, as well as a growing disaffection with Tim Walz. I carried 13 of 21 counties and received 60 percent of the vote or more in six. That’s remarkable for a challenger. Walz failed to top 60 percent in any county.”
Hagedorn cited “Washington money” and “Washington special groups” as reasons for Walz’s triumph, and lamented that he won’t have the opportunity to work with President-elect Donald Trump to enact conservative legislation.
“But I am excited for our country, as the Republican Party is positioned to move our nation in a new direction and we have the opportunity to shape the Supreme Court for a generation or longer,” Hagedorn said. “Additionally, I am thrilled for the State of Minnesota, as the GOP now holds the majority in both houses of the legislature.
“Thank you for your votes and support and thanks to the Hagedorn staff, Republican Party officials, financial donors and volunteers who gave us a shot to win and exceed every last expectation.”
Walz, for his part, issued a brief statement through his campaign manager, Terry Morrow, on Thursday afternoon, expressing gratitude upon being returned to Washington for a sixth two-year term.
“I am honored and humbled to have been elected by southern Minnesotans on Tuesday,” Walz said. “I am grateful to Jim Hagedorn for his congratulations. As we transition to a new Congress and administration, I renew my commitment to respect, working together to solve problems and protecting the principles upon which our nation is founded.”