The Associated Press reports that 2nd Congressional District Congressman John Kline has taken his name off the table of possible Republican U.S. Senate candidates.
In doing so, Kline, House Education and Workforce Committee chairman, joins former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman in declining to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken next year. Kline, then, presumably will seek a seventh term in the House.
Democrats were alert to Kline’s decision.
“In his 10 years in Washington, Congressman Kline has put party politics ahead of Minnesota by voting three times for a budget that protects tax cuts for millionaires, ends the guarantee of Medicare and raises Medicare costs on Minnesota seniors,” DFL Chairman Ken Martin said.
Kline last fall defeated former Democratic State Rep. Mike Obermueller in the 2nd District, winning about 54 percent of the vote.
Obermueller, an attorney by profession, plans to run again in the district.
“In part, to finish what we started in 2012. Our country faces serious challenges, but instead of trying to find common ground and solutions, John Kline has doubled down on his partisan agenda,” Obermueller said in a statement.
Also planning to seek the Democrats’ endorsement to run against Kline is former CaringBridge CEO Sona Mehring. Mehring, who founded the Eagan-based nonprofit that allows people to keep others informed of a relative or friend undergoing medical treatment, stepped down as CEO in order to focus on her campaign.