Jeffrey Ettinger, former CEO of Hormel Foods, has announced his candidacy for the House of Representatives. He is running as a Democrat in the race to replace the late Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), who died on Feb. 16 from kidney cancer.

Ettinger said that he will be running as a “moderate” Democrat.

"My friends and my family have probably listened to me for years complain about our government, complain about problems, the gridlock out in Washington, the polarization, the hostile behavior and so forth, and honestly, the lack of results. I mean, we have such serious problems in the country and we really could use our elected officials to address them," Ettinger said, as reported by Minnesota Public Radio.

There will be a special primary on May 24, followed by a special election on August 9 to fill out the remainder of Rep. Hagedorn’s term.

Ettinger served as Hormel’s chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer from November 2006 to October 2015. He joined Hormel Foods in 1989 and has served in a variety of roles, including senior attorney, product manager for Hormel chili products and treasurer. In 2016, Ettinger was named as one of the 30 World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s. In 2012, he was named Responsible CEO of the Year by Corporate Responsibility magazine. In addition, Ettinger is the founding chair of the company’s diversity and inclusion council, which aims to meet the growing needs of its diverse workforce and consumer base.

Ettinger retired from the position of CEO in 2016 and the role of chairman in 2017. He was inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame in 2017.

Source: Hormel Foods, MPR