Ophthalmologist announces bid to unseat Kline

WASHINGTON — It’s more than a year and a half until the next election, but the race in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District is getting crowded.

Dr. Mary Lawrence, an ophthalmologist, announced Thursday that she’s seeking the DFL endorsement to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline. Medical device executive Angie Craig announced her bid for the DFL endorsement earlier this week while David Gerson, who has challenged Kline before, plans to seek the Republican endorsement.

In a campaign video kicking off her campaign, Lawrence mentioned neither her party affiliation nor Kline, who has represented the district since 2003.

“I’m a very centrist person and a centrist Democrat, and I believe I share the views of the people of the 2nd District,” said Lawrence in an interview.

When asked whether she would abide by the endorsement process, Lawrence responded, “I’m expecting to win the endorsement.”

Prior to running for office, Lawrence was a doctor for the VA and was previously on faculty at the medical school of the University of Minnesota. Lawrence and her family recently moved to a home in the 2nd District.

Lawrence’s husband, Jim Lawrence, is an executive with the investment bank Rothschild North America. She’s raised $215,000 and loaned her campaign an additional $300,000.

A spokesman for Kline did not respond to a request for a comment on Lawrence’s entry into the race but said earlier in the week when Craig entered the race that Democrats would face “a costly primary battle” while Kline would “continue to work for Minnesotans by providing commonsense solutions and real results for his constituents.”