Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, told constituents in his email newsletter that he's considering a run for Congress in the Second Congressional District, where the race is wide open after Rep. John Kline announced last week he's not running.
"As soon as Congressman Kline announced his retirement, my phone started ringing.... I have received 270 calls, texts and emails urging me to consider a run for Congress," Atkins wrote.
Atkins, already presumed to be a potential candidate, joins a long list of candidates on both sides of the aisle.
Mary Lawrence, a doctor, and Angie Craig, a St. Jude’s Medical executive, are both running on the DFL side. Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, is another potential candidate.
On the Republican side, investment banker and failed 2014 U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden and former judge and first lady Mary Pawlenty are considered possible candidates. Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, is seen as a serious contender. Other candidates mentioned include Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa; Rep. Tony Albright, R-Prior Lake; Dakota County Commissioner Mary Liz Holberg;, Sen. Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake; and David Gerson, a Tea Party favorite who twice ran against Kline as being insufficiently conservative.