A protégé's embrace
A decision to renege on his retirement could have serious implications for next year's Third District election. State Rep. Erik Paulsen, the main Republican contender, has been raising money and campaigning, assuming the seat would be open.
Said Paulsen: "I would not even be running for Congress if it weren't for the fact that my friend and mentor and former boss had announced his retirement. I'm assuming he's going to retire. He's told me to move ahead and move ahead strong."
But if Ramstad does run again, Paulsen said, he would bow out.
"If he does run again, I will be the first person to wholly support and embrace him, in a nanosecond."
I've heard that should he do so, Eric Paulsen will step out of the race. Sean at MN Publius has egg on his face for suggesting that should Ramstad get back in the race, Bonoff and Hovland would drop out.
If the Rammer comes back he’s gonna win. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that if Jim Ramstad rejoins the race Jim Hovland and Terri Bonoff will probably drop out of the race on the Democrat side.
I’m curious what his un-retirement would mean for all of the right wing nut jobs who cheered when he announced his retirement?
[update:] I was speculating wildly up there when I said I figured JHova and and Sen. Bonoff would probably drop out of th race if Jim Ramstad reentered the race. (Hey, at least I admit it.) I just received an email from the Hovland’s campaign:
“Jim is still in the race whether or not Ramstad reenters the race. In fact, he’s energized by the prospect of taking Ramstad on and highlighting the differences between a Democratic and Republican approach to governance.”
I met with Jim last week and there will be a write up of our talk coming soon– but I can’t stress enough how impressed I was with Hovland’s thoughtful approach to the issues facing our country. If Jim Ramstad reentered the race any Democrat would have a very difficult uphill climb, but who knows? Hovland’s got an amazing amount of leadership and wisdom he ccould offer to the people of the 3rd.
[update 2:] From the ‘noff.
“Regardless of what Jim Ramstad decides about his political future, I remain certain about mine: my campaign to bring a new voice to the Congress for Minnesota’s families will continue. I look forward to a vigorous campaign to determine who will best represent Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District without regard to whom my opponent is.”
Terri Bonoff already has the best organization of any Democrat to run in the 3rd in any recent memory, she’ll be an imposing opponent for Ramstad, but I think that it will still be a very difficult uphill climb for a Democrat to beat him if he gets back in the race.
You'd think Sean would have picked up the phone and called these campaigns before shooting off about something like this.
UPDATE: Good comments on this topic at the Strib blog, McMemo.