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Sharon Sund to challenge Minnesota Republican Erik Paulsen, district held by GOP since 1961

Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen has drawn his first challenger for the 2012 campaign cycle in Plymouth resident Sharon Sund. Sund is seeking the DFL endorsement in Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District, which encompasses Hennepin County except for Minneapolis and its immediate suburbs.

“Using my experience as a scientist, manager, and developer of green technologies I will work to move the 3rd district toward a prosperous future for all,” Sund remarks on her website. “As a community volunteer and organizer I have worked with diverse groups across the state to forge common ground and achieve significant results.”

Sund faces an uphill, but not impossible, battle; the district has been held by a Republican since 1961.

The district was seen as a tossup in 2008 when moderate Republican Jim Ramstad retired. Paulsen bested Ashwin Madia 49 to 41 percent that year. And in 2010, he won the district with 59% of the vote against DFLer Jim Meffert.

The district is a presidential swing district, going for George W. Bush with 51 percent in 2004 and for Barack Obama with 52 percent in 2008.

Sund says her visits to Paulsen’s offices prompted her to run.

“It became painfully evident that he was only interested in continuing failed policies,” she writes. “He was determined to continue to vote the same way even if it destroyed what we value in our country.”

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