Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.) has died of kidney cancer, his wife announced Friday morning.

Hagedorn, 59, had served in Congress since 2019 after winning a district along his state’s border with Iowa. He followed his father, Tom Hagedorn, who represented the same district in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

“Jim loved our country and loved representing the people of southern Minnesota. 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,” Jennifer Carnahan, Hagedorn’s wife, wrote in a post on social media.

Carnahan described “unimaginable pain, intense sorrow, suffocating grief and seemingly never-ending emptiness” at Hagedorn’s passing.

Colleagues mourned Hagedorn, who announced his stage 4 kidney cancer diagnosis in April 2019, and remembered his work as an official in the Treasury Department before returning to Minnesota to run for Congress.

“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,” wrote Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) in a statement. “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.”

Hagedorn challenged then-Rep. Tim Walz (D) twice, losing in 2016 by just 2,500 votes. He ran for and won his seat in 2018, when Walz quit Congress to run successfully for governor.

In Congress, he sat on the House Agriculture Committee, a key post for a rural district that has evolved from a solid bastion of Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party into a now-safely conservative district. He was a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee, and he was among the Republicans who objected to certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

Updated at 9:05 a.m.

Tags Betty McCollum Death House Jim Hagedorn Minnesota Tim Walz

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