Phil Krinkie, who was known as "Dr. No" for all his red votes on bills in the Legislature, is saying yes to a congressional run.
The former House Tax Committee chair, now president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, vied for the seat when U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann got the Republican nod in 2006. Now that Bachmann is retiring from the seat, he will join the growing list of Republicans trying to replace her.
"I don't want to go lecture people about what I want to do," said Krinkie, who will formally announce his campaign on Saturday at the Sherburne County fair. "I want to ask people what kind of representative they want..I want to ask them what they want to get done."
Krinkie, who represented the part of the district in the Minnesota House until 2006 but now lives in Shoreview, said he and his wife plan to move back into the Sixth Congressional District.
Asked if he would abide by the Republican Party endorsement, meaning Krinkie would drop out if he does not get activists' nod at their convention, he said hoped to win the endorsement but would take "one day at a time."
There are already three candidates vying to win the Republican-dominated Sixth District, which slopes through the Twin Cities suburbs and exurbs and encompasses the city of St. Cloud. Former 2010 gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah and state Sen. John Pederson, of St. Cloud, have all set up campaign committees and begun raising cash.
The field may not yet be settled. Several other Republican candidates are eyeing bids, knowing that the chance at an open Congressional seat in a strong GOP district is a rare opportunity.