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MN-02: John Kline will not seek reelection

by Dan Burns on September 3, 2015 · 3 comments

271_19344293946_1831_nMakes my day, and I know I’m not alone.

Republican Rep. John Kline announced Thursday he won’t seek re-election in 2016, after serving in Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district since 2002…
Kline’s announcement Thursday didn’t say why he had decided to step down, but he is 67. He scheduled a call with reporters later in the day.
(CBS Minnesota)

We’ll have plenty more about this. Just getting the great news out there, far and wide, for now.
Addendum: I’m passing along this, from Daily Kos, with useful numbers on recent district outcomes for big races. And this, from mnpACT!, speculating on who all might be running to replace him (in addition to the current candidates, Democrats Angie Craig and Mary Lawrence). State Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington), who is mentioned in the latter, is my pick for Minnesota’s most obnoxious legislator, and him on the general election ballot should make it easy pickings for our side. So, Run Pat Run!
Addendum 2: More from Kline himself.

On a call with reporters shortly after the announcement, Kline was relaxed and candid, saying it was “just kind of time” to move on, and emphasizing the work he still has left to do in Congress over the next 16 months, including the passage of a package to reform the No Child Left Behind K-12 education law.
Kline also made clear that his decision was not made due to health concerns, or worries that he might not win re-election in 2016. He explained that “it’s been a lot of years of me being in Washington,” adding that his grandkids had grown up in a “blink of an eye.” Kline was elected to Congress in 2002, and turns 68 this Sunday.
The seven-term congressman also acknowledged that his decision was partly motivated by the imminent end of his chairmanship of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the apex of his influence in Congress. (House committee chairmanships are limited to three terms.) “It’s time to let someone else have a shot,” he said.

Comment below fold.

From Mac Hall: FYI : MPR is reporting that Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, said he has no interest.
“I would rather stab a fork in my eye than run for Congress,” Garofolo said. “So, I think that’s a pretty definitive no.”
But don’t worry … there is an even better MNGOP candidate on the verge … once again from MPR: State Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, said he’s giving the race strong consideration.
~ ~ ~
Pure speculation on my part, but I gotta think that Boehner is probably not too happy … first losing another one from his inner circle, but also the timing. It is obvious that this being a Presidential election year, voter participation is generally up … and if Kline had just held out until 2018, the GOP would have had a better chance of holding the seat.
Also, what does this say about the future of Kline’s education reform bill ? House members wanted a shorter bill life (it now goes through 2019) and he only says its a 50-50 chance of passing this year … as a definite lame duck, did he announce his retirement too early ?
Lastly, since MN02 will be an open competitive seat, what about a Nolan-Mills rematch … interesting insights here.

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