"It's very enticing to run [for Congress] because of the national debate on health care," Senator Julie Rosen said in telephone interview today. "I also have serious concerns about cap-and-trade," she added, "But for now, I'm planning to serve my senate district."
I contacted Rosen after hearing of recent rumors from St. Paul that she would challenge two-term incumbent Congressman Tim Walz. The tale contradicted an August 24 Faribault County Register report, Rosen says she will run again:
In some circles, Rosen’s name also has been tossed out as a possible challenger to incumbent 1st District U.S. Rep. Tim Walz.
Rosen seems amused at the thought of running for a higher office and admits several people have approached her.
“I’m just happy where I’m at. I have no intentions of going anywhere. There’s a lot that needs to be done and I have a lot of work still left in me,” she says.
Hence the phone call.
Rosen said that when she returned from a recent vacation, she was approached again about running, but for now her plans are to "stay here" since she believes that there's much work to do in the state senate. However, she hasn't ruled out throwing her hat into the congressional ring if she determines that Walz hasn't been listening to people in his district about health care and energy issues.
"I'd consider running if I thought I could do a better job," she said. "It wouldn't be because I'm a Republican. Thinking that I could do a better job [than the incumbent] is what first motivated me to run in 2002." Rosen defeated incumbent DFL Senator Chuck Fowler in 2002.
Rosen is the ranking Republican on the state Senate Energy, Utilities, Technology and Communications Committee and serves on the Business, Industry and Jobs, Capital Investment, Health and Human Services Budget Division, and Public Safety Budget Division committees. According to her official senate web page, her legislative interests are jobs, health care, agriculture/renewable energy, drug treatment/education; her college degree is in agronomy.
Her name has frequently surfaced as a potential opponent to Walz, as a "dream candidate" with perceived ability to raise the money necessary for a congressional race. Rosen's husband Tom is CEO of the American Foods Group LLC, the nation's 14th largest beef packing firm, which was formed in 2005 by the mergers of the American Foods Group Inc and the Rosen Meat Group Inc, a division of Rosen Diversified, Inc. In November 2008, Forbes magazine listed Rosen Diversified, Inc. as the 184th largest privately held company in the United States.
As Rosen has not entirely locked the door on a 2010 congressional bid, Bluestem will be keeping an eye open on this story.