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

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.


Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.


Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.