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2016 news: Former MN medical exec launches bid for US Congress

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Minnesota officially has one of its first candidates for U.S. Congress in the 2016 election – which is still 582 days away.

Angie Craig, a former executive with St. Jude Medical, announced Sunday she will take a run at the 2nd Congressional District seat, currently held by Republican Rep. John Kline.

Craig will seek the nomination from the state's DFL party, and if she doesn't get the endorsement will step aside for whomever does.

"As someone who grew up in a trailer park and worked my way to the boardroom, I know that every family has potential and that every family deserves a chance to succeed," she said in a statement. "John Kline has had his chance to put middle class families first and he has failed. We deserve better.”

Kline, however, is no pushover. Despite a very loud campaign against him in 2014 (led by liberal talk show host Bill Maher), he beat the DFL and independent challengers by grabbing a solid 56 percent of the vote.

Who else is challenging Kline?

The 2nd Congressional District – which extends from the southern metro down toward southeast Minnesota – is considered a solid Republican stronghold. Kline was first elected to the seat in 2002.

Craig's role at St. Jude, according to her website, included time working on health policy, corporate communications, and government relations. The past four years, she led the company’s Global Human Resources group, which she says led to jobs in the state and more women in management.

She and her wife, Cheryl Greene, live in Eagan and have four sons.

She joins the race with Democrat Mary Lawrence, a Minneapolis doctor, who filed paperwork to run last month, the Pioneer Press reported. And the paper also says Republican David Gerson – who has unsuccessfully challenged Kline in the past two elections – will likely run again.

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