So which is it?
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) may or may not have plans to run against Sen. Al Franken or against Governor Mark Dayton in 2014. Paulsen has stayed out of the limelight since winning election in 2008 to the MN-03 district which encompasses the western suburbs of Minneapolis.
Paulsen says he’s consistently said he has no intention of running for higher office in 2014:
“I can’t comment on the interpretation of others..on remarks that I’ve made. But my message has been consistent,” said Paulsen, who said he has had no conversations with anyone at the National Republican Senatorial Committee about a possible run.
You would hold this opinion if you read the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Other sources, like MPR, beg to differ:
Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen said today he is not ruling out a run for higher office in 2014.
Paulsen has been mentioned as a possible challenger to DFL Senator Al Franken. In the past month, he has told several people that he’s not interested in running for Senate – only to have his aides quickly retract those statements.
After a news conference in St. Paul, Paulsen said everything is on the table, including a run for Senate or a run for governor.
The real reason that Paulsen wouldn’t be interested is the polling numbers. PPP released a poll in late January showing Franken leading Paulsen in a hypothetical 2014 race 50-39%.