Rep. Erik Paulsen still not ruling out challenge to Franken

February 6, 2013

For the second time in recent weeks, it has been reported that Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) has decided not to challenge Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) in 2014.

And for the second time, Paulsen's office says that's not the case.A local report this afternoon cited a University of Minnesota political science professor who said Paulsen had told him he wouldn't run against Franken. The professor also tweeted the news.

But a spokesman for Paulsen says that's not accurate and that the congressman is not prepared to foreclose a run for Senate next year.

"Rep. Paulsen is solely focused on representing the 3rd district, but has not ruled anything out related to 2014," said the spokesman, John-Paul Yates.

It was also reported on Jan. 2 that Paulsen had said he would not run, but Paulsen's office said at the time that his words were misconstrued.

Politicians who don't want to give a definitive answer about running for higher office will often say that they are focused on their current jobs and/or that they "aren't running" for the next office. That's all present-tense, of course, and things can and do change.

For now, it appears safe to assume that Paulsen will indeed entertain the idea of challenging Franken.

(Worth noting: Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton is also up for reelection two years from now.)

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Politics

politics

post-politics

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters