State Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, announced today that he'll seek the GOP endorsement to challenge incumbent Democratic Congressman Tim Walz in 2012.
Parry is a business owner who is serving his second term in the Minnesota Senate. He was first elected in a 2010 special election. Parry is currently chair of the State Government Innovation and Veterans Committee. Walz, a former teacher from Mankato, is serving his third term representing Minnesota's First District. Parry says he thinks next year's congressional race will focus almost entirely on the economy.
"Right now what I'm hearing from southern Minnesota is the economy and it's jobs." Parry said. "That is forefront, and I think that has to be the top priority when you move forward in your representation and heading to Washington."
Parry would not speculate on how much money he'll have to raise for the race.
A campaign spokesman for Congressman Walz was not immediately available for comment.
Andrea Fetherston of the Tim Walz for U.S. Congress campaign sent out this statement in response to the Parry announcement:
"Republicans will have a process to select their nominee. Tim Walz is working hard for southern Minnesotans. He's focusing on creating jobs, getting our economy back on track and advocating for our nation's veterans."
State DFL Chair Ken Martin released this statement:
"Mike Parry has proven himself to be an angry, ultra conservative Tea-Party Republican more concerned with pandering to the right wing and special interests than he is with working to improve our state economy, create jobs or build a more prosperous future for middle-class families. As Minnesotans in the first district get to know Mike Parry better, they will see his far right positions are out of line with the views of Southern Minnesotans."