Jennifer Carnahan, the late Minnesota Congressman Jim Hagedorn’s wife and the former leader of the Minnesota Republican Party revealed on Monday that she will run for Congress to replace the seat vacated by his death last month.
“Though my heart is still heavy in the aftermath of Jim’s death, the support I’ve received from around southern Minnesota has encouraged me to carry on his legacy by running to finish out his term,” Carnahan said in a statement. “In the final weeks before his passing, Jim told me to keep forging ahead, to keep reaching my dreams, and to win this seat.” “I am committed to continuing my husband’s legacy of fighting to secure the border, defending conservative values, safeguarding the integrity of our elections, and serving the people of Minnesota’s First Congressional District,” she added.
On February 17, Hagedorn passed away. In July 2021, he revealed that he had kidney cancer, and in January, he checked into the Mayo Clinic after testing positive for COVID-19. Governor Tim Walz has scheduled a special election primary for May 24 and a special election for August 9 to replace the remainder of Hagedorn’s term. During the November general election, voters will elect a candidate to represent the district for a full term.
Jennifer Carnahan was elected chair of the Minnesota Republican Party in 2017 and resigned in August after her close friend and Republican contributor Anton Lazzaro was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges. There were also charges of a poisonous work atmosphere at the party, according to CBS Minnesota, as well as allegations that Carnahan ignored claims of sexual harassment by her workers. Carnahan has refuted the accusations, claiming she was unaware of Lazzaro’s alleged illicit activities.
In the election to replace Hagedorn, at least eight other Republicans and six Democrats are running. The district encompasses a substantial area of southern Minnesota, including the border with Iowa. In 2018, Hagedorn was elected to the House of Representatives, changing the district from Democratic to Republican. Prior to Hagedorn’s election, the district was represented by Walz, the current Democratic governor of Minnesota.