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Hagedorn says he's 'feeling and doing well'

Congressman says he appreciates kind words of encouragement, prayers.

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U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn speaks at a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at La Crescent Area Event Center in La Crescent. (Traci Westcott /twestcott@postbulletin.com)
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A spokesperson for U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn said the congressman is "feeling and doing well" and "handling his official duties and continuing to fight for America," a week after a phone call recording appeared on social media in which his wife and former Minnesota Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan was heard offering a dire prognosis of his condition.

"As he undergoes new cancer treatment, he is working to reset his immune system and gain strength and defeat this disease," said Lia Palazzo, Hagedorn's communications director.

ALSO READ: Will there be fallout from the Carnahan resignation?

She said he was also working in opposition to the "radical and failed policies of President Biden and the Democrats," while also promoting the interests of Minnesota's 1st District.

"Congressman Hagedorn appreciates the kind words of encouragement and prayers made on his behalf from family, friends, constituents, and colleagues as he fights kidney cancer and regains full health," Palazzo said.

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Hagedorn, who is serving his second term in Congress, was first diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in February 2019. In December 2020, he underwent elective surgery to remove a kidney and nearby cancerous tissues. In March, Hagedorn reported that a doctor told him there was no evidence of his cancer.

In July, after undergoing more testing by Mayo Clinic, where he receives his care, Hagedorn said his kidney cancer had returned.

The question of the congressman's long-term health prognosis was raised amid heighted scrutiny of Carnahan, who came under fire after the arrest of her friend and GOP donor, Tony Lazzaro, on child sex trafficking charges. Carnahan denied any direct knowledge or involvement in Lazzaro's alleged crimes.

Carnahan eventually resigned from the onslaught of charges that verbal abuse, intimidation and sexual misconduct reigned under her leadership.

In the midst of the political battle, a social media recording surfaced in which Carnahan can be heard saying that her husband will be dead in two years. She later apologized. The statement has sparked speculation about who might succeed Hagedorn, with some political observers suggesting that Carnahan could run for the 1st District.

Hagedorn's statement indicated that he is far from giving up his fight against cancer.

Matthew Stolle has been a Post Bulletin reporter since 2000 and covered many of the beats that make up a newsroom. In his first several years, he covered K-12 education and higher education in Rochester before shifting to politics. He has also been a features writer. Today, Matt jumps from beat to beat, depending on what his editor and the Rochester area are producing in terms of news. Readers can reach Matthew at 507-281-7415 or mstolle@postbulletin.com.
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