The DFL will soon have at least one candidate to take on first-term Congressman Erik Paulsen in the Third congressional district.
Jim Meffert-Nelson, current head of the Minnesota PTA, is ready to announce his bid to unseat Paulsen, who won in 2008 with 48% of the vote. Meffert-Nelson has been making the rounds over the past couple of months, speaking with party and community leaders, elected and otherwise, and according to sources is in the race to run hard and win.
Meffert-Nelson has served as a state-level lobbyist for the Minnesota Optometric Association, working with the legislature on health care issues. While the word “lobbyist” may as well have four letters, this is nothing special — many public figures file as lobbyists in order to work on behalf of professional and advocacy groups in St. Paul.
Folks with whom I’ve spoken indicate that Meffert-Nelson is a smart guy with a realistic idea of what it will take to win this race. Right out of the gate, he starts at a considerable financial disadvantage, with Erik Paulsen having the advantages of Washington lobby money and a full election cycle of fundraising at his back. But every race is different, and a lot of things can happen between now and next November.