3rd District candidates head north to court hunters; Madia to attend DNC

madiagun_orig.jpg Posting this on behalf of MPR’s Curtis Gilbert:

Third Congressional candidates Ashwin Madia (DFL) and Erik Paulsen (R) leave the district they hope to represent this afternoon to put in appearances at Game Fair, which bills itself as “the nation’s largest outdoors, pre-hunting, family participation event.” Game Fair is held annually in the town of Ramsey, just north of the 3rd Congressional District.

In conjunction with his appearance, the Madia campaign released a policy statement criticizing recent state fee increases on licenses for fishing, hunting and other forms of outdoor recreation. While Madia is running for a federal office, not a state one, he said he supports “the use of federal funds to reduce the costs of Minnesota’s outdoor activities.”

Madia, a lawyer, Iraq war veteran and former Republican, also said he supports this year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Washington D.C.’s handgun ban and affirming that the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right to own firearms.

Then, it’s on to Denver

Madia is the only non-incumbent DFL congressional candidate who will attend the Democratic National Convention in Denver later this month.

Communications Director Dan Pollock said the campaign made the decision on Friday. Pollock said he wasn’t sure how long Madia would stay in Denver or what his exact itinerary would be, but said he would probably try to raise some money and meet with Minnesota’s DNC delegation.

All of Minnesota’s Democratic members of Congress are super-delegates to the convention and will be there. But the DFLers challenging Republican U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann and John Kline plan to skip the DNC.

“Our time is better spent here,” said John Wodele, a spokesman for Bachmann’s challenger, former state transportation commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg.

A spokeswoman for former Watertown Mayor Steve Sarvi, who is running against Kline, said the same thing.

There is no incumbent running in Madia’s race. U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad, R-Minn., is retiring, and money from around the country has been pouring into race, because the 3rd is seen as a highly competitive swing district.

Madia, Paulsen and Independence Party candidate David Dillon face off in their first debate Thursday morning.

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