Former WCCO anchor Don Shelby is reportedly considering a 2014 congressional run against 3rd District GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen.
The news was broken by the Star Tribune's Kevin Diaz, who writes that "Shelby's interest burst into the open amid remarks by U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who mentioned it at a Washington fundraiser Wednesday attended by about 30 or 40 campaign contributors, lobbyists and Democratic activists."
[jump] Shelby, 66, worked at WCCO from 1978 to 2010. He's established a reputation as an advocate for energy conservation, renewable energy, and alternative fuels.
Paulsen, 48, easily won reelection last year with 58 percent of the vote in the affluent western suburban district he has represented since 2009. But since Obama defeated Romney in that same district, some view Paulsen as vulnerable to a strong Democratic challenge.
Asked about Shelby's possible candidacy, DFL Chairman Ken Martin told the Strib, "I don't know if he's in or not."
"If he is considering his options, I don't think there's any question that he'd be a very strong candidate against Congressman Paulsen," Martin continued. "The fact is, if he gets in the race, it [the district] would become an immediate target for Democrats, not only in this state, but around the country."
:::: UPDATE ::::
This afternoon, Shelby, through BringMeTheNews (his current employer), released a statement addressing the rumors. And if he can be believed, he's been asked to run for office more often than Kate Upton gets asked out on dates.
Here's what Shelby said:
"I've been asked... I'm flattered. It's worth thinking about, but I haven't in any way made up my mind.:::: UPDATE II ::::
"It's not unusual... I've been asked 30 times in the past to run for public office from all three parties...
"I've listened to everyone, I'm flattered by the thought... My family and I will consider it and make the decision."
Here's Shelby's entire email:
I'm flattered I would be approached, but truth is, I'm not much of a partisan and my politics, for what they are, are a little goofy. I would be a terrible congressman. I would rat out every special interest hack and poser. Still a reporter. Therefore, I would be relegated to some form of quarantine...-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]
Third can be won by a Democrat. It voted for Kerry, and Obama twice. But, that would make me a Democrat, if I ran. They are pushing hard, the Washington crowd. They think this is winnable, and I'm a guy who might do it. But, that would mean that I had written my last news story. I may just keep trying to bring ideologies together on science as a journalist.