Don Shelby concludes Congress is a dysfunctional mess and he wants no part of it

Shelby says the DCCC tried to convince him to run on a platform of energy conservation and renewable energy, to no avail.
Don Shelby versus Erik Paulsen in the 3rd Congressional District would've been a lot of fun. But Shelby has decided that the benefit of holding a seat in a partisan-gridlocked Congress isn't worth the price.

THE BACKSTORY: Shelby: "I would be a terrible congressman"

Yesterday, Shelby informed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that they'll have to look elsewhere for a Paulsen challenger.

In interviews following his decision, Shelby explained that he doesn't find the prospect of being a 67-year-old freshman in modern-day America's Congress to be particularly appealing.

"When you see statements by John Boehner that says our job is not to pass laws but to repeal them, it makes you wonder who in his or her right mind would really want to get into that business, especially if they come from a background of trying to change things... trying to be helpful, trying to be a true public servant," Shelby told WCCO, adding that it'd be uncomfortable for an independent thinker such as himself to run as a Democrat.

"If, by definition, you have to be more one or the other, I find myself, probably, without having moved a step in my life, in a place where one would probably identify me as being more in line with the current Democratic Party, based on its issue positions," Shelby told MinnPost. "But I didn't call myself a Democrat. I don't call myself an independent. Or a centrist. The best ideas aren't necessarily in the middle. I just want to go where the facts are."

Fact is, whoever ends up challenging Paulsen next year probably won't make for as interesting a candidate as Shelby would've. So, strictly from an entertainment/blog-fodder standpoint, we hope Shelby, as he is wont to do, pulls another Favre-like flip-flop and reconsiders.

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

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swmnguy topcommenter

That's a great statement by Mr. Shelby.   I especially like the line about "The best ideas aren't necessarily in the middle. I just want to go where the facts are."  The "triangulation" mentality has won a lot of elections, at enormous cost to the country.

k2yeb topcommenter

I think we would all benefit from more politicians that voted on conscious or ideals rather than party affiliation or lobby influence.  I find myself in the middle, but that is more out of fear of extremes. I very much like certain policies and philosophies on both sides, and his comment is interesting and reflective. Glad he is running. Let freedom and equality reign. 

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