Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen has netted a Democratic challenger.
Democrat Sharon Sund, who ran for the DFL endorsement in the Third Congressional District in 2012, announced her campaign on Thursday.
National Democrats had eyed Paulsen's seat for possible pick up because it is one of the few seats across the country held by a Republican where President Obama bested Republican Mitt Romney.
In 2012, Obama won 49.5 percent of the vote, to Romney's 48.65 percent in the suburban district. That year, Paulsen won re-election with 58 percent of the vote.
Sund, a DFL activist who has worked in science-related jobs for big Minnesota businesses, said in a release: "I’m running for Congress because Minnesota’s families deserve a thriving economy that rewards hard work and innovation."
When she ran in 2012, local DFL activists picked Brian Barnes to run instead and she dropped out.
Paulsen has already built up a considerable war chest to fend off any challengers. According to his most recent campaign finance report, he had $1.7 million cash on hand.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken has single digit leads over some of his Republican opponents, a new KSTP/Survey USA poll found.
Franken, who won his first election by just a few hundred votes, had 8 percentage point leads over two of his challengers and a larger leads over four others.
The same poll found that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton with larger leads over his Republican opponents. According to the poll, Dayton had between 17 and 21 percentage point leads over the candidates seeking to oust him.
Methodology from the pollster:
"SurveyUSA interviewed 600 state of MN adults 02/25/14 through 02/27/14. Of the adults, 545 were registered to vote, and were asked about the election pairings. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (69% of registered voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (31% of registered voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device."
A separate Washington Post/ABC poll found that in states with U.S. Senate races this year, Republicans have an edge over Democrats.
Photo: A new generation voting machine being demonstrated
Vice President Joe Biden will visit Minneapolis Wednesday for a private Democratic National Committee fundraiser, his second trip to the Twin Cities in as many weeks.
Biden is expected to arrive in Minneapolis this afternoon for the high-dollar fundraiser at the Bachelor Farmer restaurant, owned by DFL Gov. Mark Dayton’s sons. The same restaurant hosted a lunch for President Obama in 2012. The dinner will raise money for the DNC, with donations topping out at $32,000.
On Feb. 8 Biden spoke at funeral services for Joan Mondale, wife of former vice president Walter Mondale. Biden visited Minnesota to rally supporters in 2012. In 2011, he touched down for a fundraiser for the Obama campaign and in 2010 for a fundraiser for Dayton, along with a rally.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has created a website that looks, at first glance, designed to support Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson.
The site, with the address http://www.collinpeterson2014.com, says in large letters "Collin Peterson for Congress" and invites people to sign up and donate.
But in smaller type it says, "Washington is broken, and Collin Peterson is part of the problem" and if visitors click the "donate" button the site will take them to a NRCC website.
The Peterson web page is part of a nationwide tactic from the Republican campaign group to drive traffic to sites that trash Democratic House members. The NRCC has set up similar sites targeting Democrats in California, Arizona, New York, New Hampshire and elsewhere.
Allison Myhre, spokeswoman for Peterson's campaign spokeswoman, said the microsite won't work in Minnesota.
"I doubt that voters out here are going to buy into a deceitful and dirty campaign sanctioned by Sen. Westrom and the Washington, DC Republicans who are running his campaign," she said. State Sen. Torrey Westrom is running against Peterson in the western Minnesota district Peterson has long represented.
Democratic blogger Sally Jo Sorensen wrote of the site: "Clearly, the NRCC isn't worrying about being Minnesota Nice in this race."
Alleigh Marré, NRCC spokeswoman, said: "Democrats are clearly nervous about these effective websites. They don't want voters to know the truth about their candidates' disastrous records. We appreciate Democrats drawing attention and driving traffic to these negative sites."
Peterson has not announced whether he will run again for the seat he has held since 1990.
Updated to correct spelling of Sally Jo Sorensen's last name.
Vice President Joe Biden will visit Minnesota later for this month for a high-dollar fundraiser.
According to an invitation obtained by the Star Tribune, the vice president will be in Minneapolis on Feb. 19 for a dinner at Minneapolis' Bachelor Farmer restaurant.
The dinner will raise funds for the Democratic National Committee with donations topping out for co-hosts at $32,000.
The Bachelor Farmer, which hosted a lunch for President Obama in 2012, is owned by DFL Gov. Mark Dayton's sons.
Biden visited Minnesota to rally supporters in 2012, in 2011 he touched down for a fundraiser for the Obama campaign and in 2010 for a fundraiser for Dayton and a rally.