Sunday, January 27, 2008
Hitting the conservative themes of smaller government and lower taxes, accountability and results, and speaking strongly against the No Child Left Behind Act, current Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Eden Prairie) launched his campaign for the Minnesota Third Congressional District today.
Paulsen spoke before an energetic crowd of several hundred at Scenic Heights Elementary School in Minnetonka. Many families were there with their young kids, strollers, and baby carriers in tow. To accomodate them, popcorn, cookies, and even face painting were available.
Paulsen promised a vigorous campaign for Congress. They all do, but Paulsen served as a Washington legislative assistant and state director for Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN3), the current, twelve-term Third District Congressman, whose work ethic for retail campaigning is legendary. (Ramstad was reportedly on his way back to Washington, D.C. during Paulsen's event.)
Among the elected Republicans present were state Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) and Sen. Gen Olson (R-Minnetrista), as well as Jeff Johnson, candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner, and Alice Seagren, Minnesota Department of Education commissioner.
Although most of the buzz about the DFL challenge in the Third has centered on state Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka), one Republican activist I spoke with today had praise for the speaking skills of another Democrat primary candidate for the seat, political newcomer and Iraq war veteran Ashwin Madia of Plymouth. Minnesota Monitor conducted a live blog (online chat) with Madia in December.