Tuesday, November 13, 2007

3rd Congressional District Candidate Update

Since we just finished one election, why not turn our attention to the next one? I have a feeling that the next 357 days will give any political junkie their fill of news and analysis, and Minnesota will be in the middle of everything.

In addition to the historic Presidential election and what has the makings of a lively Senate race (Norm Coleman vs. Ciresi or Franken or Pallmeyer), our own 3rd Congressional District race is being listed as a toss-up by many. Ever since Jim Ramstad announced his retirement, names of potential replacements have been swirling about. Ramstad did the opposite of Martin Sabo in 2006, who gave the 5th CD short notice on his retirement, causing a mad scramble. Ramstad provided over a year of notice, something I believe will result in a more thorough vetting process.

While at least a couple dozen names have been mentioned for the 3rd CD, by my count there are only 3 official candidates in the race, with 1 unofficial but very likely candidate:

Terri Bonoff, DFL, is a State Senator from Minnetonka with a business background. She was probably considered the early front-runner, but things have evened out with recent events.

Ashwin Madia, DFL, is a Minneapolis lawyer with ties to the 3rd CD. As it stands today, he is the only Iraq Veteran in the race.

Jim Hovland, DFL, is the Mayor of Edina and Partner in a local law firm. He is a centrist who considered himself a Republican in the past. Just entered the race this week.

Erik Paulsen, R, is a State Representative from Eden Prairie with a business background. He has not formally announced but has an exploratory committee (something you don't do unless you are serious.) He is considered a more traditional Republican than Ramstad.

I'm sure others will emerge, but the diversity of candidates on many fronts (age, military, gender, backgrounds, ideology) is encouraging for a productive, interesting race. This is a terribly brief and vague summary of each candidate, but I'll have a year to elaborate.

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