Skip to main content

2 GOP lawmakers out, 1 DFL maybe in to go after Kline's US House seat

  • Author:
  • Updated:

There's more political shuffling going on as Minnesota state lawmakers decide whether or not to run for U.S. Rep. John Kline's seat in 2016.

Kline, an established Republican who first won Minnesota’s Second Congressional District in the 2002 elections, announced last week he won't seek re-election. Since then, the news of potential candidates being in or out has rolled through seemingly every day.

It may seem like a lot of early political shuffling, but it's a sign that Kline's seat is seen as important by a lot of people – and that was evident in 2014 too, when he became the target of Bill Maher's very public “Flip a District” campaign. (You can read more on the stakes below.)

So what's the latest?

State Rep. Joe Atkins, a DFLer from Inver Grove Heights, is considering running for the seat.

In an email, he said his phone hasn't stopped ringing since Kline's announcement, and s he's currently "giving serious and careful consideration" to the possibility– though noted he's been encouraged to consider a run for a different office as well.

Meanwhile two state Republican lawmakers are out.

Sen. Dave Thompson said Friday he's "honored" by the attention, but announced he won't run. The Lakeville representative had been considered by many to be a likely candidate.

Rep. Roz Peterson, also of Lakeville, also announced Friday she won't go for Kline's seat, the Star Tribune reports.

Why so much interest in the seat?

According to the Washington Examiner, Democrats see the seat as one to take from the Republican party, since the district’s residents voted for President Barack Obama during the 2012 election 49.1 to 49 percent, the paper notes.

The Republicans currently hold the majority of the House seats, with 246 members. The Democrats have 188 – so flipping as many seats as they can closes the gap. The GOP establishment, naturally, wants to hold its big advantage.

Meanwhile the more conservative wing of the Republicans, often defined by the Tea Party, hope to get another one of their own into U.S. Congress, the Examiner writes.

Gerson, one of the candidates highlighted by Politico in a story about the Tea Party “surge,” fits into the more conservative category – but he challenged Kline in the past two elections and lost.

Who else is running, or might run?

Three candidates have filed with the Federal Elections Committee, according to records.

  • Angela Craig, DFL
  • David Gerson, Republican
  • Mary Lawrence, DFL

Beyond those three, there are more possible candidates that haven't officially filed – the Pioneer Press has a list of all of them.

Next Up

Amber alert wisconsin

Amber Alert in Wisconsin: Search for missing 15-year-old girl

Police believe 15-year-old Kryssy King may be with a 22-year-old man.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 10.18.12 AM

3 St. Paul fast food restaurants robbed in space of an hour

The thieves struck between 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.06.40 AM

What to do with the Kmart site? Minneapolis wants your ideas

The project will connect Nicollet Avenue south of Lake street and north of the Midtown Greenway, reestablishing a street grid.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 7.53.55 AM

Crowd evacuated at end of homecoming football game in Brooklyn Park

Police blamed 'unruly teens' in the stands and some who were trying to enter the stadium.


State to help 44 Minnesota gas stations add E15 pumps

The yellow 88 button is coming to more gas stations in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

FBI, police investigating bank robbery at Edina's 50th and France

An ATM technician was robbed by four men at a U.S. Bank.

Ethan Glynn

Paralyzed Bloomington football player begins rehabilitation in Colorado

Ethan Glynn is at a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital.

Press Bar fire

Owner of St. Cloud bar gets 6 years for arson, ordered to repay $3M

A February 2020 fire at the Press Bar and Parlor was later determined to be an insurance job.


Bloomington, Richfield districts tighten security ahead of weekend football

Enhanced safety measures will be in place this weekend.