FAIRMONT - Jim Hagedorn says he is back in the race for Congress because he was not seeing enough work out of Aaron Miller, whom Republicans endorsed in April to take on Democrat Tim Walz.
Hagedorn, who conceded to Miller at the First District convention, was in Fairmont on Wednesday. He has revived his campaign - with eyes on the Aug. 12 primary - because he says Miller has not been staking out positions on the issues, has not been aggressive and has not directly challenged Walz.
"I want to give voters the opportunity to make Tim Walz's failed liberal record the focus of the campaign, and to offer bold conservative solutions," Hagedorn said.
He links Walz to President Obama, which is to say to the federal health care law, to a higher national debt, to EPA rules hurting farmers, to new banking rules that hurt small business, and to the deaths and mistreatment of veterans in the care of the Veterans Administration.
"The people in power need to be held accountable," Hagedorn said.
He noted that Walz has served on the House veterans affairs committee for the past eight years.
One event that helped push Hagedorn back into the race was the opening of a VA clinic in Albert Lea. Walz attended the event, as did 400 to 500 other people. But Hagedorn says Miller did not, missing an opportunity, especially since Miller promised to run a strong campaign against Walz.
"That promise has not been met," Hagedorn said.
As noted, voters will decide the fate of Miller and Hagedorn in August, before one of them advances to challenge Walz in the fall.
Miller, of Byron, is a command sergeant major in the Army Reserves who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a visit to Fairmont in April, he said he opposes Obamacare, a bloated federal government and heavy-handed regulations. He also said the weak state of the American economy calls for a change in Washington.
Miller has 15 years of experience in the health care industry as an account manager.
His website is aaronmillerforcongress.com
Hagedorn is a rural Truman native and the son of former Congressman Tom Hagedorn.
Hagedorn served as a legislative aide to former Congressman Arlan Stangeland. From 1991 to 1998, he served as director for legislative and public affairs for the Financial Management Service, a U.S. Treasury agency.
Hagedorn later served as congressional affairs officer for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which manufactures U.S. paper currency.
His website is www.jimhagedorn.org