BLUE EARTH, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota freshman Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn said Wednesday he is being treated for cancer but still plans to run for re-election this year.
Hagedorn, 57, released a statement saying he was diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer exactly a year ago (Feb. 15, 2019), and has received care and immunotherapy at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., this past year.
Exactly two months after marrying his wife, Minnesota GOP chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan, and just six weeks into his job as Minnesota’s 1st District congressman, Hagedorn said he was given the “unexpected and rather shocking news.”
Hagedorn said his cancer was detected accidentally, and before he exhibited any symptoms, during a routine physical examination.
Hagedorn said he feels “great” and has not missed a single vote due to illness.
“I am fortunate to be a patient of the Mayo Clinic, the preeminent institution of medicine in the world. My physicians, nurses and technicians are incredibly caring and competent people. I am also grateful for the regimen of immunotherapy, recently approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as a treatment for kidney cancer,” Hagedorn said.
Hagedorn narrowly beat Democrat Dan Feehan in 2018 by 1,300 votes for the SE Minnesota 1st Congressional seat that Tim Walz gave up for his successful run for Minnesota governor. Feehan is running against Hagedorn again this year.
Hagedorn won the seat in 2018 on his fourth try in a district that Trump carried by 15 points in 2016 and was carried by Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary over Hillary Clinton by 23 points.
In a statement, Hagedorn’s physician, Dr. Lance C. Pagliaro, oncology specialist at Mayo Clinic, said the congressman “has responded well to immunotherapy, which has been key to his recovery. He is doing well.”
Hagedorn aligned himself tightly with President Donald Trump during his campaign and has loyally stood by the president since then.