Ashley Opina ® Staff Writer |
As election day draws near, the urgency of all Americans to research the candidates on the ballots continues to grow. For a majority of college students, doing a deep dive on politicians may be the least of their concerns, especially during midterm season.
Despite the hecticness of school, it is important for everyone, including college students, to be informed of who is running for office in their district, in order to vote for the one that aligns best with their political interests.
In Minnesota 1st Congressional District, incumbent Jim Hagedorn, part of the Republican Party, and opponent Dan Feehan, part of the Democratic Party, are running to be the U.S. House Representative.
Hagedorn was born in Blue Earth, Minnesota and spent his childhood on his family farm where he gained knowledge of farming, small business, country living, and small town values.
Hagedorn’s father was elected to Congress to represent Minnesota 2nd Congressional District in 1974, which introduced Hagedorn to the world of politics. 45 years later, Hagedorn was sworn into office himself to represent Minnesota 1st Congressional District in 2019 and has been in office ever since.
His opponent, Dan Feehan, was raised in Red Wing, Minnesota and was inspired at a young age by the public service of his parents to follow in their footsteps and serve his community.
Feehan served as an active duty soldier from 2005 through 2009. Years after, he entered the world of politics by working as an Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon. His time in that role allowed him to work closely with Congress in the lawmaking process.
Feehan’s main objective for running is to give the people of his district a representative who puts people first, rather than the special interests of corporations.
According to Feehan’s personal statement from his campaign website, “I am fighting to make sure that every southern Minnesotan has affordable, accessible, and high-quality health care and prescription drugs.”
Feehan continues on by saying, “I am fighting for our farmers by ending Washington’s disastrous trade policies and finding new markets throughout the world and here at home.”
He also says, “I am fighting to strengthen early education, K-12 education, and post-secondary education and finding opportunities to increase union apprenticeships so we can bolster our economy for working families and ensure everyone has a fair shot on a level-playing field in southern Minnesota.”
“Finally, in foreign and defense policy, I will do whatever it takes to keep our country safe and secure,” says Feehan. “That is why I will lead an effort to bring new Congressional oversight to our unending war on terrorism which will ensure our service members are only sent into harm’s way with a clear mission and when it’s absolutely necessary.”
In comparison, Hagedorn currently serves on the House Committees on Agriculture and Small Business. His main focus is farming, Main Street enterprises, and the rural way of life in southern Minnesota.
According to one of Hagedorn’s personal statements on his government website, “I pledge to work tirelessly to sustain our southern Minnesota way of life.”
In order to do so, Hagedorn’s primary focuses in office are in support of pro-life, the second amendmant, agriculture, a smaller government outreach, and reforms in order to boost the economy.
“Defending our God-given rights, including the right to life, is a top priority for me,” says Hagedorn. “We must protect innocent, vulnerable life, especially unborn children, disabled individuals, the elderly and those with special needs.”
Hagedorn continues on by saying, “Minnesotans care deeply about their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
“I support the Second Amendment so that Americans can protect themselves and their families,” says Hagedorn. “I also support the long-time tradition of hunting that is a favored pastime in southern Minnesota.”
As for his views on agriculture, Hagedorn wants fewer trade barriers and new global markets and works closely with other politicians, including President Donald Trump, in order to create new policies regarding the expansion of trade.
Lastly, Hagedorn says, “As your representative, one of my main priorities is to decrease the reach of government on your life.” Hagedorn is fighting to decrease taxes and rolling back excessive regulations.
Right now, both candidates are continuously working hard to secure votes.
Feehan is gaining support through endorsements from other politicians, campaign rallies, and going door-to-door.
Hagedorn has support as the incumbent from those that want to keep him in office. He is also going door-to door, touring local businesses, and visiting the towns within his districts to gain more votes.
Photos: Rep. Hagedorn’s website and Mansoor Ahmad/The Reporter.