Republican activist David Gerson announced Monday during a press conference he will run against U.S. Rep. John Kline next year.
Kline represents the second congressional district, which covers the south Twin Cities metro area and contains all of Scott, Dakota, Goodhue, and Wabasha counties. It also covers northern and eastern Rice County including the city of Northfield, and southern Washington County including the city of Cottage Grove.
Gerson unsuccessfully ran against Kline last year.
In April last year, the CD2 Republican delegates endorsed Kline for reelection on the first ballot. In announcing his candidacy on Monday and during a radio interview Tuesday morning on the lesser Twin Cities conservative talk staiton, Gerson made the claim that Kline won endorsement "by less than 3% of the votes." For someone who emphasizes he is adamantly opposed to "politics as usual," Gerson sure has down the politician speak. You see one has to receive at least 60% of delegates' votes in order to be endorsed. So when Gerson says he lost by less than 3%, what he's actually saying is if John Kline would have received 3% fewer votes than the 62.4% he garnered on the first ballot. he would not have won endorsement after round one. Regardless, Gerson chose to abide by said endorsement and not run in a primary. Gerson did, however, make a late primary challenge to Kline in 2012 (he did not run for endorsement in CD2 that year but rather in CD5). Kline cruised to victory by a 70% margin.
One other statement that stood out to me from Gerson's Tuesday appearance on the lesser talk station was that people in CD2 "are ready for a change." That too seems a rather odd sentiment when you consider Kline was overwhelmingly endorsed by GOP delegates in April 2014 and then won the general election by 17 points in what is merely an R+1 district. The fact that Gerson is running to the right of Kline once again makes his candidacy a daunting task.
If there's one silver lining from Gerson's kickoff announcement, it's the fact he was spared the awkward photo op that accompanied the presser declaring his 2014 bid.
David Gerson press conference pic.twitter.com/aFG0iw0xMB
— Jack Rogers (@JRWatch) December 9, 2013
You'll notice the two campaign volunteers holding up the Gerson for Congress banner. Apparently someone forgot to bring along something to affix the banner to the wall.
No such blunder on Monday.
Perpetual candidate David Gerson kicks off another challenge to Rep Kline in CD2. He lost on the first ballot in 2014 pic.twitter.com/W49IHRf29y
— John Rouleau (@John_Rouleau) January 26, 2015
Seriously though, as long as Kline desires to seek reelection (he turned 67 years of age last September), he will be the Republican nominee regardless if he's endorsed. Kline is well funded enough to take any GOP challenger to a primary, prevail easily and still have plenty of funds remaining in the war chest for a general election campaign.
Speaking of a general election challenge, someone to the left of Kline has declared her intention to be the Democrat nominee.
......Democratic-Farmer-Laborite Angie Craig, an executive for the last 10 years with St. Jude Medical who, if she were successful, would be the state's first openly gay member of Congress.
Craig, 42, will step down as vice president for global human resources at St. Jude but will remain with the Little Canada-based medical-device company, focusing on diversity and inclusion, veteran hiring and workforce development, according to the company.
Craig married Cheryl Greene in 2008 in California, and they have four sons.
Now an Eagan resident, Craig said she's been fortunate in her business career and wants the chance to serve her district in public office.
"I think my business background and my life experiences make me uniquely qualified to advocate for policies that really help ensure every family has access to jobs, good public schools and quality and affordable health care," she said.
Wait, don't we already have affordable health care thanks to the ACA???? Could this mean Ms. Craig is looking to repeal Obamacare??? Maybe I could support a Democrat candidacy after all!
One of three children, Craig was raised by her mom and grandmother in an Arkansas trailer park, she said, and she learned the value of higher education.At whose expense?!?!?! Blah, I shoulda known she was too good to be true.
"For me, a huge priority will be to make sure that all families have economic security and access to high-quality, affordable college education," she said.
Barring a surprise retirement announcement, Kline appears headed back to Washington, D.C. after the 2016 election cycle.