Congressman Jim Hagedorn passes away Thursday

Congressman Jim Hagedorn passed away after a two-year battle with cancer, his widow Jennifer Carnahan announced on Friday morning. 

"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. 

Hagedorn, 59, was serving his second term representing Minnesota’s first congressional district. He was diagnosed with kidney cancer in February 2019

House Minority leader Kurt Daudt said of Hagedorn's passing, "We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Congressman Hagedorn. He had a big heart and a tremendous passion to serve the district where he and his family have lived for generations. House Republicans send our deepest condolences to his wife Jennifer, all of his family, staff, and loved ones during this difficult time."

Hagedorn was born in Blue Earth, Minnesota in 1962 and grew up on a 160-acre farm outside of Truman, where he helped work the bean fields and feed the animals, according to his congressional biography. 

In 1974, when Hagedorn was 12, his father was elected to Congress in the second district, and then the family split time between D.C. and Minnesota, 

He began working in politics in 1984 as a legislative assistant to Rep. Arlan Stangeland, and went on to work for the Treasury Department. He unsuccessfully ran to represent the first district three times, losing twice to Tim Walz in 2014 and 2016, before eventually winning an open race in 2019 after Walz left the seat to seek the governorship. Despite his cancer diagnosis, Hagedorn won reelection last year, narrowly defeating Democratic challenger Dan Freehan.

Walz was among those offering condolences on Friday. 

RELATED: Walz orders flags at half-staff Saturday for Congressman Hagedorn

Hagedorn was a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump and was one of two Minnesotan representatives to vote against ratifying President Joe Biden’s victory. He faced an ethics investigation for "self-dealing" concerning allegations that his office paid companies owned by his staff to send constituent mailers, and that his staff in Mankato rented office space from a political donor for a below-market-rate. 

In Congress, he focused on issues surrounding agriculture and small business. By state law, Gov. Tim Walz now has three days to call for a special election to fill the vacant seat. 

What happens next

Minnesota state law gives Gov. Walz three days to call for a special election. An announcement is expected Tuesday on his decision. 

Any special election to fill Hagedorn's seat would likely be in August, using the old First Congressional District map.

However, any election could quickly get complicated due to recently re-drawn districting maps.

In November midterm elections, voters within the newly re-drawn maps would then cast their ballots.        

Republican leaders are considering a potential special convention to endorse a candidate sometime this spring in hopes of finding someone to win two elections for the same seat, within just a few months.