As the third Rochester-area Republican in the race, Nelson could possibly splinter further the delegate strength in the district's largest city, since Mike Benson and Aaron Miller are from the Rochester area. It's unclear whether this would give the bid of Blue Earth-based Jim Hagedorn a bonus.
Those pitching the Nelson bid are pitching her gender as a selling point. Blois Olson writes in the Take:
FIRST: A reliable source says that state Sen. Carla Nelson is seriously considering throwing her hat in the CD1 race for Congress to challenge Rep. Tim Walz. Nelson’s state Senate seat is not open in 2014, giving her a free shot. As the only woman in a crowded GOP field Nelson would stand out and versus Walz would create a new dynamic that would potentially put the race on the national radar.
Potentially. Nelson, a financial planner who also served one term in the Minnesota House, is one of six assistant minority leaders in the state senate and was number two among senate Republicans in introducing new bills, according to PIM.
While she was selected as one of four assistant majority whips in 2012, joining such partisan luminaries as John Carlson (Bemidji) and Al DeKruif (Madison Lake) and Pam Wolf (Spring Lake) under the chief lash for former senator Ted Lillie (Lake Elmo), Nelson is the only one of the cohort to survive redistricting or the 2012 election.
Moreover, she introduced a bill to increase tobacco taxes in the past session, legislation for which she was attacked in a mail piece by conservative group Americans for Prosperity. She ended up voting against the omnibus tax bill (and thus the DMC, a project she co-sponsoredand now touts on the op-ed pages of the Rochester Post Bulletin). For these gymastics, Americans for Prosperity Minnesota now gives her a 92% ranking on its legislative scorecard.
She also was one of a handful of Minnesota senate Republicans to vote to extend the range of family members for whom workers could care using their earned sick leave. The bill did not require private business to offer paid sick leave, but the compassionate gesture might be seen by Southern Minnesota's conservatives as a bleeding heart gesture.
Meanwhile, Roll Call reported Wednesday in Son of Former Congressman to Challenge Tim Walz in Minnesota:
. . .Walz has run far ahead of the Democratic presidential candidates in the district, beating his Republican opponent by a 15-point margin in 2012.
Minnesota’s 1st District is rated a Safe Democratic contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
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