Don Shelby considering congressional run against GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen [UPDATES]

donshelby.jpg
Between Shelby and Al Franken, Minnesota's congressional delegation could host one hell of a talk radio show.
:::: UPDATE :::: Don Shelby concludes Congress is a dysfunctional mess and he wants no part of it

Former WCCO anchor Don Shelby is reportedly considering a 2014 congressional run against 3rd District GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen.

SEE ALSO:
-- Don Shelby taking his talents to BringMeTheNews
-- Erik Paulsen pushes medical device tax repeal while getting megabucks from medical industry


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."

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.

"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."
:::: UPDATE II ::::

In a followup email to the Strib, Shelby says he "would be a terrible congressman." In other words, as at least one political observer pointed out, he'd fit right in.

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...

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.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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17 comments
Chris Dahl
Chris Dahl

He would be better off challenging Dayton!! Get that joke out of here!

kennyX
kennyX

Don Shelby would make a great DFL candidate for that district. As a journalist, he showed integrity with an unbiased view. He told it like it is. He never once resorted to hate-filled war mongering over Conservatives (or Liberals for that matter) and used the simple common sense approach to journalism. If he can translate that same integrity to politics, I would love to see him in Congress. Sadly, I do not live in his district, and also....66 years old? Considering how blood-thirsty and vile American politics are today, I wouldn't want to see the poor guy collapsing of a heart attack in his first year in office. 

Joel DuFresne
Joel DuFresne

That would be great! Two semi celebrities that will get nothing done.

Michelle Glass
Michelle Glass

Yeah, I've often been asked to run for office... Wanna do a story on me? Shelby, go away you pompous ass.

jpinmn
jpinmn

Paulsen is completely out of touch with his constituents, both socially and fiscally. He is only interested in big business interests. The final nail in his political coffin was the marriage vote. He went against 65+% of his district, just to force a narrow religious view onto a civil license.

David Hlavac
David Hlavac

He would be excellent and I would volunteer for him in a heartbeat. Paulsen is too conservative for the 3rd. We need a moderate to represent us in Congress, someone similar to Jim Ramstad in his approach to issues. I think Congressman Shelby has a nice ring to it!

Melissa Barnes
Melissa Barnes

He's good enough, He's smart enough. And gosh darn it people like him.

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

@kennyX That is honestly the most sincere and unexpected comment I have ever seen from you.  :)  Did someone hack your account?

kennyX
kennyX

@Joel DuFresne Actually, Don was never considered a celebrity. He was a well known local journalist, but hardly a celebrity. And he never thought of himself as one. Now Al Franken, on the other hand.....THINKS that that he was a celebrity. Because he wore a bunny suit on SNL and played that brilliant (*cough*) character Stewart Smalley. Franken was as much of a "celebrity" as Jesse Ventura was. And that isn't saying much. Actually, that isn't saying anything at all. 

michael_l_foss
michael_l_foss

@Michelle Glass Don Shelby is a humble person.  Great advocate for environmental issues and social justice issues.   Don Shelby has been to the BWCA numerous times by himself, with his family and Dave Nimmer! Michelle Glass needs to retract her vulgar insult !  Don Shelby would be an excellent candidate against Erik Paulsen!

Onan
Onan

@kennyX  - Multiple Emmy awards, Best-selling author, Grammy award. I'd consider that "celebrity."

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