Veteran Twin Cities journalist Don Shelby has opted not to run for Congress.
Shelby tells BringMeTheNews, "I took my time, considered the case from every angle that I could – listened to family and trusted friends, and this is my decision."
Shelby told MinnPost for a story Friday morning that he seriously considered mounting a campaign against Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., in the 3rd Congressional District, which covers western metro suburbs. And the well-known Shelby said he thinks he would have been a real contender in the race. Shelby told BringMeTheNews that Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak first urged him to consider a bid.
But ultimately, Shelby decided not to run for several reasons, he told MinnPost, a publication he wrote for formerly.
Shelby said he was not comfortable diving into partisan politics and being labeled as associated with one party or another. Shelby's liberal leanings on issues including the environment are well known.
“But I didn’t call myself a Democrat. I don’t call myself an independent. Or a centrist. The best ideas aren’t necessarily in the middle. I just want to go where the facts are,” Shelby told MinnPost.
Shelby also said he didn't like the idea of working his way up through the House seniority system – starting a congressional career as a 67-year-old freshman. He told WCCO-TV that ugly partisan politics in Congress make it a very difficult place to get any real work done.
"Even if elected, I would have little influence," Shelby told BringMeTheNews. "Both sides of the aisle would find me irritating. As an irritant, I could get little done for the 3rd District, because I'd have few allies. JFK said one doesn't need to be a public official to be a public servant. I think I will continue to serve in the latter capacity. There is an added advantage to that choice. I don't have to beg for money for myself, and I don't have to face the possibility of losing – a result I have never liked very much."
Shelby also noted that he is very involved in the lives of his grandchildren, ages 6, 4, 2 and 2 months.
Shelby, who retired after a 32-year career at WCCO-TV, works for BringMeTheNews, among numerous other endeavors. He is on the boards of 10 organizations, fundraises for various causes and delivers about 125 speeches a year, MinnPost notes.