In announcing a run for Congress against Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen on Saturday, state Sen. Terri Bonoff said she was stirred into action by the deep partisanship on the presidential campaign trail.

“Rather than watch this play out on TV, I have decided to jump into this fray and do all I can to transform the current conversation from one of attack to one of bold ideas, strong values and pathways for prosperity,” Bonoff wrote in a statement that didn’t mention Paulsen’s name.

The Star Tribune reported  Friday that Bonoff was going to challenge Paulsen in the Third Congressional District. He has held the seat since 2009.

Bonoff, who made her announcement at the state Senate convention Saturday in Minnetonka, is known as a moderate DFLer in the Legislature, supporting tax breaks for high-income earners and challenging teachers unions.

In a statement on Saturday, Paulsen’s campaign manager, John-Paul Yates, said her 11-year record “will be a heavy, heavy weight around her campaign.”

Jon Tollefson, a young state-based lobbyist, had previously announced a challenge to Paulsen. He suspended his campaign on Saturday and threw his support behind Bonoff.

“Now Paulsen is getting ready to campaign with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz,” he said in a statement. “He’s raised a lot of money from special interests, but no amount of money can buy TV ads that will explain how a Paulsen-Trump or a Paulsen-Cruz team will be good for Minnesota.”

DFL Chair Ken Martin said on Saturday that Paulsen’s conservative voting record is “too extreme” for the moderate Third District, which supported President Obama twice.

“Families in the Third … have had to watch Erik Paulsen put the extremist base of his party ahead of the families who elected him and Minnesotans can’t afford to let it continue,” he said.

 

Allison Sherry • 202-383-6120

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