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Democratic Recruit Challenges Minnesota's Erik Paulsen

Tollefson is challenging Paulsen, above. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former U.S. diplomat Jon Tollefson announced a challenge to Minnesota 3rd District Rep. Erik Paulsen on Thursday.  

“I’m running to bring the true values of Minnesotans to Washington: real fiscal responsibility, investments in education and transportation that lead to jobs and economic growth, and affordable access to health care for all," the Democrat said in a statement.  

Democrats Might 'Roll the Dice’ Hoping Trump or Cruz is on Ballot

Democrats think a Trump or Cruz nomination could help them turn Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr's seat blue again. But time is running out. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are optimistic that a Donald Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz nomination will expand the map in their favor. But because of how long the GOP nominating contest could take, and how early some congressional filing deadlines are, Democrats may need to take a leap of faith on candidates before they know whether the GOP nominee will put certain states in play.  

"I’m telling potential candidates, 'There’s a chance that our party is going to win the lottery. ... It might be worth rolling the dice because it turns out the Democratic nominee in some of these states that are not competitive right now may be worth a lot,'" one Democratic consultant said.  

Minnesota: District Parties Back Preferred Candidates

Rep. Michele Bachmann easily earned the Minnesota Republican Party's endorsement in her re-election bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minnesota’s Democrats and Republicans endorsed candidates for the fall over the weekend at district-level party conventions.

GOP Reps. Michele Bachmann and Erik Paulsen easily picked up their party’s endorsements for their re-elections.