NEW ULM - First District Congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn stopped in New Ulm, Sleepy Eye and Springfield on Wednesday while on the campaign trail.
Hagedorn is running in the Aug. 12 primary against fellow Republican Aaron Miller, who was endorsed by the GOP. The winner of the primary will face Democratic incumbent Tim Walz in the November general election.
"I'm meeting people and debating issues," said Hagedorn, who grew up on a grain and livestock farm near Truman and now lives in Blue Earth.
His campaign planks include attacking the federal budget deficit, which he called "a ticking time bomb."
He also wants to cut excessive regulation of farmers and small business owners, correcting misguided foreign policy by re-establishing what he said works - solutions based on limited government, free enterprise and the rule of law.
Hagedorn said he wants to replace Obamacare with free-market reform; create energy independence with gas, oil, coal, nuclear, renewables and conservation; reform budgets with zero-based budgets, broad-based tax reform; work for welfare; securing the U.S. border and ending wars of diminishing returns and nation-building.
Hagedorn disagrees with the latest national energy policies that he said will drive up the cost of electricity.
"We've got all kinds of coal in this country and environmentalists don't want us to use it, so we're shipping it to foreign countries," he said.
Private sector expansion and the higher federal revenue growth it creates are needed to preserve the nation and would go far to solve the national debt.
Hagedorn said he prefers the Reagan Doctrine of Peace Through Strength and assisting only people willing to fight for their own freedom. "I support the immediate end of U.S. Middle East combat operations and oppose the costly and discredited practice of nation-building," he said.
"The U.S. had neither the political will nor financial resources to continue prolonged combat operations in the Middle East. Both political parties have mismanaged Middle East foreign policy the past 14 years, and the result has been an uprising of radical Islam, loss of U.S. prestige and the slaughter of Christians," Hagedorn said.
Hagedorn said he supports replacing the Internal Revenue Service with broad-based reform that takes power from Washington, D.C. "Tax reform must be revenue neutral," he said. "It must not take more hard-earned money from Americans than the current system does."
Hagedorn said he looks forward to debating issues with other candidates at the 2014 Farmfest Political Forum on Agriculture and Rural Issues at 1:15 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 6 in the forum tent.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).