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Democratic ads target Rep. Paulsen, 31 other Republicans over health care

WASHINGTON, D.C. — National Democrats are taking aim at Rep. Erik Paulsen over his vote against a Democrat-backed health care reform bill, saying the freshman Republican “stood with the insurance industry, not the people he was elected to represent.”

Versions of the ad (MP3) are running in 32 Republican-held congressional districts where voters backed Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. The ad buy is paid for by the Democratic National Committee.

Minnesota’s 3rd District is a swing district that covers the Hennepin County suburbs to the north, west and south of Minneapolis. Voters there went 52 to 46 percent for Barack Obama over John McCain while backing the Republican Paulsen by an 8-point margin over his Democratic opponent, Iraq war veteran Ashwin Madia.

Paulsen is expected to face a tough race again this year. State Sen. Terri Bonoff, who ran for the nomination against Madia in 2008, is being recruited to run again. Jim Meffert, head of the state PTA and executive director of the Minnesota Optometrists Association, has filed to run, as has forensic psychiatrist Maureen Hackett. Analysts say Paulsen will begin the race as the favorite but is far from safe.

Paulsen officials brushed off the ad Monday, saying voters in the 3rd agree that the Democrats’ health care reform legislation is flawed.

“Considering that the constituents we’ve heard from are overwhelmingly against this health care plan, the DNC would be much better off worrying about members of their own party who voted for this misguided bill,” said Luke Friedrich, Paulsen’s communications director.

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