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Newsletter: Tinklenberg Won’t Run for Congress

Elwyn Tinklenberg (D), the former state transportation commissioner and former Blaine mayor, has decided against another run in the 6th district, according to the Politics in Minnesota newsletter.

Tinklenberg, a Blue Dog-type Democrat who opposes abortion rights, had the Democratic field for the open 6th district seat to himself last cycle until child safety advocate Patty Wetterling (D), who lost to then-Rep. Mark Kennedy (R) in 2004, decided to drop her Senate bid and jump back into the 6th district race.

Wetterling won her party’s endorsement and Tinklenberg opted not to force her into a September primary.

Wetterling lost the general election to now-Rep. Michele Bachmann (R), but many Democratic strategists in Minnesota and Washington, D.C., believe that Tinklenberg would have fared much better against Bachmann than Wetterling did.

A second run for Tinklenberg seemed all but certain earlier this year but he recently pulled the plug.

Tinklenberg’s absence leaves Democrats without any obvious strong candidate. Lawyer Bob Hill (D), a political neophyte, has declared his intention to run.

— Nicole Duran

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