Mary Pawlenty, an ex-Dakota County District Court judge and wife to former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, is "thoughtfully and carefully considering a run" for Congress in Minnesota's Second Congressional District in 2016, according to a former top aide to Governor Pawlenty.
Brian McClung, who worked for Pawlenty for six of his eight years as Minnesota's governor, said he spoke with Mary Pawlenty today about launching a campaign for Congress.
"I believe she would be an incredible candidate, who brings her own record as an attorney, judge, and mediator to this race," said McClung, who is currently a partner and co-founder of the public relations firm MZA+Co in St. Paul.
Pawlenty did not immedialty respond to a request for comment.
As first reported by the Associated Press, Pawlenty is contemplating a run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives currently held by Republican Congressman John Kline. Kline announced last Thursday he would not seek re-election to Congress next year.
Pawlenty, who lives in Eagan, was raised in Edina, graduated from Bethel University and later from the University of Minnesota Law School. Pawlenty was appointed a Dakota County District Court judge in 1994, serving until February 2007.
Kline's announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2016 will surely expand the field of current candidates running for Congress in the district.
Republican David Gerson, who ran unsuccessfully against Kline in 2012 and 2014, announced his third run for Congress in January. Gerson also ran unsucessfully for the Republican Party of Minnesota's endorsement for Congress in Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District in 2012.
Angie Craig and Mary Lawrence are the only two announced Democratic candidates for Congress.
A top leader in the Republican Party of Minnesota, who requested anonymity, described Pawlenty as "an A+ candidate for Congress," adding, "we should hope she gets in this race."
State Senator Dave Thompson (R-Lakeville), State Representative Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake), State Representative Roz Peterson (R-Lakeville), Former State Senator Ted Daley (R-Eagan) and State Representative Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) are all considered possible congressional candidates in the district.
Picture source: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune