Sen Linda Runbeck (R-53, Circle Pines) left the legislature the first time to run for Congress against Rep Betty McCollum (DFL-55A, North St Paul) and lost by 18-points with 30.89% to McCollum’s 48.04% and it could have been greater since former Ramsey County Attorney Tom Foley ran with the Independence Party and received 20.59%. Then in to 2002, she sought the Republican Party nomination to contest against fellow Sen Bill Luther (DFL-47, Brooklyn Park) and picked up the moniker Attack Poodle from Republican political strategist Pat Rosenstiel, but lost to John Kline (R) who prevailed in November.
Rep Runbeck’s post-session announcement on June 2nd, led to a number of filings in 38A to contest against the DFL endorsed candidate Kris Fredrick. Kelly Gunderson, Doug Malsom, and Donald Raleigh all have filed for the August Primary Ballot.
This suburban seat is a prime target for the House DFL to pick up and would help solidify DFL dominance of a suburban/urban/rural regional center house majority.
It will also apply additional pressures into the senate election and force Sen Roger Chamberlain (R-38, White Bear Lake) to defend the entirety of his district.