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Wife of Late Minnesota Rep Announces Her Candidacy for His Congressional Seat

AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

Jennifer Carnahan, the widow of the late GOP Rep. Jim Hagedorn (MN), announced Monday that she will run for office to fill the former congressman’s seat.

Carnahan made the announcement on Twitter, where she said she’s “running to honor her husband’s wish” and that she will “continue his fight.”


Carnahan served as the state’s Republican Party chair from 2017 to 2021. In a published statement, she said "though my heart is still heavy after Jim’s passing, the encouragement I have received from throughout southern Minnesota has inspired me to carry on his legacy by running to complete the remainder of his term.”

As Townhall covered, Rep. Hagedorn, who represented Minnesota’s first congressional district, died of cancer last month at age 59. Carnahan shared the news of his passing in a Facebook post. In the post, she shared that he battled kidney cancer. 

“It is with a broken heart, shattered spirit and overwhelming sadness I share my husband Congressman Jim Hagedorn passed away peacefully last night,” Carnahan wrote in her post. “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.”


His office’s official website, which has been converted since his passing, previously stated that he was first diagnosed Feb. 15, 2019. In July 2021, he announced his cancer “reoccurrence” following a series of tests he received at the Mayo Clinic.

"In the final weeks before his passing, Jim told me to keep forging ahead, to keep reaching my dreams, and to win this seat," Carnahan said in a statement provided to Fox News. "Jim was my best friend and the love of my life, and it is his blessing that strengthens me for the challenges ahead. 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."

The special general election to fill Hagedorn’s seat is scheduled for August 9. 

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