Choices Narrow For GOP In Open Seat MN Congressional Race

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Jason Lewis, Pam Myhra, David Gerson, John Howe and David Benson-Staebler debate

Bill Sorem

Jason Lewis, Pam Myhra, David Gerson, John Howe and David Benson-Staebler debate

On the eve on Minnesota’s Super Tuesday caucuses, two Republican contenders for Minnesota’s only open congressional race have called it quits.

Former state Representative Pam Myhra announced Monday night she is getting out of the race because she has not been able to raise much money — only about $36,000 in last three months of 2015. The race is expected to be a costly one and Myhra said by press release “Being adamantly opposed to deficit spending, I have, with my family, made the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for Congress.” She then encouraged people to attend tonight’s caucuses.

Late last week Republican candidate David Benson-Staebler tweeted he was dropping out of the debate. Benson-Staebler raised little money for his campaign and was not present for February’s Republican candidate’s debate even though debate organizers said he was planning to attend.

The exits come just before Republicans begin the process of picking delegates to the party’s May 7 second district endorsement convention. Remaining in the race for that endorsement are David Gerson, former state Senator John Howe, former talk radio host Jason Lewis, businesswoman Darlene Miller and former Apple Valley mayoral candidate Gene Rechtzigel. The winner of that endorsement will likely face one or more of the others in an August primary since Miller has already stated she will run in the primary and Howe has not ruled out the possibility he will run.

The seat which has long been in Republican hands could go to either party this election. Rep. John Kline (R) is retiring after winning seven straight elections. However, with redistricting the southern Twin Cities suburban area is skewing more towards Democrats and President Obama narrowly won the district in 2012.

Angie Craig is the presumptive Democratic party candidate since both of her opponents have dropped out of the race.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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