The Washington Post

Rep. Erik Paulsen still not ruling out challenge to Franken

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.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The Republicans debate Saturday night. The New Hampshire primary is on Feb. 9. Get caught up on the race.
Heading into the next debate...
Donald Trump returns to the Republican presidential debate stage Saturday night. Marco Rubio arrives as a sudden star, but fending off ferocious attacks from his rivals. Still glowing from his Iowa victory, Ted Cruz is trying to consolidate conservative support, while Ben Carson is struggling to avoid being typecast as the dead man walking.
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote.
New Hampshire polling averages
Polling in New Hampshire has typically been volatile after Iowa's caucuses, but Bernie Sanders, from its neighboring state Vermont, has been holding a lead over Hillary Clinton.
55% 38%
Play Video
Upcoming debates
Feb. 6: GOP debate

on ABC News, in Manchester, N.H.

Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.