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Tags: John Kline

Transgender Democrat Running for Congress in Minnesota



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Here’s something you don’t see every day:

The 2014 race for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District — targeted by national Democrats as one they believe they can win — is about to become more crowded and more interesting.

Paula Overby, who is a 59-year-old quality assurance analyst from Eagan, says she has nearly enough signatures on a petition to get on next year’s Democratic primary ballot to compete for the congressional seat.

Overby, born a man who now identifies as a woman, believes she will be the first openly transgendered person from Minnesota to run for Congress.

She will face fellow Eagan residents Thomas Craft, another political newcomer who announced his candidacy in July, and Mike Obermueller, who lost a 2012 bid to unseat U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Lakeville. Kline has held the seat for more than a decade.

Perhaps most intriguing is her statement that those legendarily tolerant and open-minded Democrats aren’t welcoming her, although she doesn’t explicitly say it’s because of her shifting gender identity: “Overby acknowledged she received ‘push back’ from fellow Democrats about getting into the race. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has targeted Kline’s seat as one they believe they can win in 2014.”

This is an R+2 district in the Cook Partisan Voting Index.

Tags: Paula Overby , John Kline

Races for Governor Starting to Take Shape in Ohio, New Mexico



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Campaign-related news you may have missed in recent days . . .

OHIO: Democratic Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald will formally announce he’s running for governor of Ohio this week against incumbent Republican John Kasich. Fitzgerald already has a campaign web site up and running, and is at this point the only Democrat running, something of a surprise. Quite a few Democrats have turned down a race, including former governor Ted Strickland, U.S. representative Tim Ryan, and former U.S. representative Betty Sutton, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

MINNESOTA: Rep. John Kline, a Minnesota Republican, announced he will not run against Senator Al Franken in 2014; he said he will focus on running for reelection. No Republicans have announced bids against Franken so far.

NEW MEXICO: State senator Howie Morales, a Democrat, said Friday that he is considering running for governor against Republican governor Susana Martinez. State senator Linda Lopez and state attorney general Gary King are also running on the Democratic side, and there’s some buzz around state senator Tim Keller, last seen lamenting the condition of the state’s economy, taking pride in the state’s $900 million surplus, and complaining about a recent cut in the state’s corporate tax rate. In February, a poll found Martinez enjoying a high approval rating of 64 percent.

CALIFORNIA: Thomas Elias, columnist for the Santa Monica Mercury, says that Republicans are still looking for a top-tier contender to put up against incumbent Jerry Brown in 2014.

It’s almost absurd to think Brown, who has vied with the likes of ex-Gov. Pete Wilson, billionaire Whitman and a sitting attorney general in Evelle Younger, worries much about the Republicans now lining up. If Poizner or some other billionaire capable of writing personal checks to finance a major campaign were to enter the lists, Brown might be given some pause. But right now he looks as secure as any 2014 candidate in America, even though he hasn’t said a word about running.

Tags: Suzana Martinez , Linda Lopez , Gary King , Jerry Brown , John Kasich , Ed Fitzgerald , John Kline , Al Franken

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