Archived Story

Paulsen rules out run for US Senate or Minn. governor

Published 9:28am Tuesday, May 14, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — GOP U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen ruled out a run for either the U.S. Senate or the Minnesota governor’s office on Monday, saying he plans to seek a fourth term in the House instead.

Paulsen, whose district includes the western suburbs of Minneapolis, became the latest prominent Minnesota Republican to say he won’t challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken or Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014.

Paulsen said in a statement that he believes the House is where he can be most effective and best represent the people of his district and the state.

He said he still considers Congress a “broken institution” and believes his own party shares some of the blame. He called the partisanship in Washington “deeply frustrating.”

“But I see my job as trying to solve problems — not just decry them, much less perpetuate them,” Paulsen said.

Paulsen cited his bipartisan push to repeal a medical device tax meant to fund President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul as the kind of work that requires his full attention in the House. Republicans and Democrats in Minnesota’s congressional delegation have teamed up to try to repeal it because of the burden it places on the state’s medical device manufacturers.

Paulsen’s spokesman, J.P. Yates, declined to elaborate on the reasons behind the congressman’s decision.

No prominent Republicans have yet emerged to challenge Franken, who has $2 million in the bank to support his bid for a second term.

The dean of the state’s GOP congressional delegation, Rep. John Kline, ruled out a bid for the Senate or governor last month and opted to seek a seventh term in his southeastern Minnesota district.

The race for the GOP nomination to challenge Dayton also got off to a slow start before Orono businessman Scott Honor and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson announced their candidacies within the past couple weeks.