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Tracking Minnesota’s political scene and keeping you up-to-date on those elected to serve you

Political parties traffic in State Fair stunts

Come to the Minnesota State Fair for substantive political debate at its finest. 

Hoping to distract fairgoers for a couple minutes and sway a few undecided voters while they're at it, both of Minnesota's major political are deploying partisan stunts. 

The Republican Party struck first with Gov. Mark Dayton Commissioner Pay Raise trading cards for sale at the GOP booth. Springing off Dayton's decision earlier this year to grant hefty raises for his Cabinet commissioners, each card features a picture of the commissioner on the front, and stats on the back about their pay before and after the raises. 

"Collect them all!" the GOP urges. 

The DFL struck back Thursday with a swipe at the recent news that House Speaker Kurt Daudt had sought more state money for legislative offices as part of the State Capitol renovation. Making a play on the popular PBS series "Downton Abbey," about upper-crust Brits early last century, the DFL booth offers visitors the chance to take a photo with a mocked up, lifesize "Daudton Abbey Door."

"Get your photo with Speaker Daudt's $10,000 door," the DFL offers.

Rep. John Kline says he won't seek re-election in 2nd District

Rep. John Kline announced he will not seek another term in Congress. 

The Republican from Minnesota's Second Congressional District in the St. Paul suburbs said in a statement that after "much thought and deliberation" he had decided not to run. 

First elected in 2002, Kline has become an influential chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, where he has sought to reshape federal education and training policy, including an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind law. 

Kline served as military aide to Presidents Carter and Reagan but referenced Reagan in his statement:"His vision of America as a ‘shining city on the hill’ has guided my decisions throughout my tenure in Congress."

He will have served seven terms when he leaves Congress next year. 

The district is changing and may be trending to the DFL, as President Obama won a majority of votes in 2012. The DFL have two candidates considered serious, and several could emerge on the GOP side. 

Given a shrinking number of competitive House seats, the Second Congressional will be sharply contested and likely see millions in outside spending in the 2016 race. 

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