Dem Rep. Atkins skips run for congressional seat

Published 10:19 am Friday, October 2, 2015

ST. PAUL — Veteran Minnesota state Rep. Joe Atkins is passing on a run for Congress.

The seven-term Democrat said Thursday he wouldn’t seek the suburban seat being vacated by Republican Rep. John Kline. Atkins says he’s looking at running for a different office in the future, but declined to say which.

He says he believes he can accomplish more in the Legislature than he could in a hyper-partisan Congress.

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Despite a flurry of interest soon after Kline announced his planned retirement, there have been few entrants into the 2nd Congressional District race. The district runs from south of St. Paul to towns hugging the Mississippi River.

Two Democratic businesswomen, Angie Craig and Mary Lawrence, are seeking the seat. Former state Sen. John Howe and consultant David Gerson are after the GOP nod.