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Don Shelby reportedly considering congressional run

MinnPost photo by Bill Kelley
Don Shelby

WASHINGTON — Former WCCO anchor and MinnPost contributor Don Shelby is reportedly considering mounting a challenge to Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen in the 3rd District.

The Star Tribune’s Kevin Diaz has the details

Shelby’s interest burst into the open amid remarks by U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who mentioned it at a Washington fundraiser Wednesday attended by about 30 or 40 campaign contributors, lobbyists and Democratic activists.
Peterson’s account of Shelby’s interest was confirmed by two prominent Minnesota lobbyists who were at the luncheon. Both said Peterson described Shelby’s long career in Minnesota broadcast journalism. …
“I don’t know if he’s in or not,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin. “If he is considering his options, I don’t think there’s any question that he’d be a very strong candidate against Congressman Paulsen. The fact is, if he gets in the race, it [the district] would become an immediate target for Democrats, not only in this state, but around the country.”
Shelby, 66, did not respond to an emailed interview request. But several DFL sources said he has been courted as a potentially game-changing candidate who does well in party polls of potential candidates.

Shelby told BringMeTheNews, “I’ve been asked … I’m flattered. It’s worth thinking about, but I haven’t in any way made up my mind.”

Shelby worked at WCCO for 32 years, and later contributed environmental reporting for MinnPost. He left the site last April.

Shelby would bring a lot of buzz (for both sides) to what has been a pretty sleepy congressional district for the last couple election cycles. Paulsen has won each of his two re-election campaigns by 15-plus points, but neither of his challengers had name recognition like Shelby’s. 

Paulsen passed on a U.S. Senate campaign earlier this year but he’s been stocking up for a House re-election campaign. He has $1.3 million in the bank.

Devin Henry can be reached at  

Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 07/25/2013 - 05:19 pm.

    Back To That, Are We?

    So now Minn Post moderators are again allowing the use of “democrat” in place of “Democratic”?

    Michelle Bachmann, Todd Akin, the woman out east who told us, “I’m not a witch”, yes, they’re all so articulate and such good debaters.

  2. Submitted by Steve Rose on 07/26/2013 - 08:02 am.

    Name Recognition

    Clearly name recognition is the ticket to public office for Minnesota voters, the state that made Jesse Ventura its Governor and elected Al Franken to the U.S. Senate. Neither had any relevant experience, but they did have name recognition.

    Actually Shelby does have some political experience, as he shilled for the Left for 30+ years while employed by the number 4, where he earned his moniker “DFL-Don”. Moderator, can I say that? I think there may have been a kerfuffle upstream; it seems that a proper word may have been used improperly. I see that two commenters above referred to an infraction.

    It has been a cold year for warm mongers like Don. High temperatures for today and tomorrow are only in the low 60s, a record low for July 27 may be broken. Certainly, it will get warm again. If the days leading up to the election are unseasonably warm, I predict we will be sending DFL-Don to Washington.

  3. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/26/2013 - 10:00 am.

    Agree to disagree

    I have disagreed with Don on energy policy, but he still has my support. Where do I get some yard signs for my suburban friends?

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 07/26/2013 - 10:02 am.

    I’d much rather he ran

    for the 6th District.

  5. Submitted by John Edwards on 07/26/2013 - 11:05 am.

    The Nebulous Don Shelby

    From the StarTribune account: Added Shelby: “It’s not unusual … I’ve been asked 30 times in the past to run for public office from all three parties.”

    All three parties? A little nebulous don’t you think. In Don’s case, my assumption, if his statement is actually true, those parties would be: The Democratic, Green and perhaps Independent. If his implication that one of the three is the Republican, I would want to know which misguided member did the asking. For those who have not figured it out, Don–like virtually all members of the media–
    is a liberal.

    Before the Democrats get too excited, I recall another WCCO personality, George Rice, who ran for the Third District Congressional seat as a Democrat (what else) in the 1970s, and got clobbered by Republican Bill Frenzel.

    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 07/26/2013 - 01:56 pm.

      Perhaps, this is a different time


      When Frenzel defeated Rice for Congress forty years ago, the electorate was not nearly as captivated by celebrity.

      Using money as a reference, because it is usually a pretty good one, consider what we pay celebrities. When Harmon Killebrew’s salary peaked in 1972, he was the highest paid Twin at $115,000. Today, the highest paid Twin is Joe Mauer, who makes more for every game ($142,000) of a 162 game season, whether he plays or sits. Adjust it for inflation, if you like.

      Name recognition is huge, regardless of whether or not you have anything to offer. I would also judge today’s electorate to be less informed and more easily distracted.

  6. Submitted by Dee Ann Christensen on 07/26/2013 - 11:33 am.

    Environmentalist Candidates

    Serving in public office is an opportunity to put environmental issues on the table. I see this as a priority for both Mark Andrew and Don Shelby. Some candidates run because they want power; others run in frustration because of decisions make by their current representative. If Shelby decides to run, it would be for a far more altruistic purpose. How refreshing would this be?

  7. Submitted by David Frenkel on 07/26/2013 - 11:36 am.

    Go for it

    Don is probably better read than most politicians because of his journalism background. I would prefer to disagree with someone who can articulate his point of view.

  8. Submitted by Steve Rose on 07/26/2013 - 04:53 pm.

    “I Would Make a Terrible Congressman”

    Don is quoted in this afternoon’s “The Glean” to say, “I Would Make a Terrible Congressman”.

    Finally Don, something we can agree on.

  9. Submitted by Pat Berg on 07/25/2013 - 05:07 pm.

    Moderators, please do your job

    Using “democrat” as an adjective is a violation of the posting guidelines (see and I’m pretty sure the poster is well aware of that.

    From the cited source: “We do not allow the use of nicknames for people or groups that are meant to denigrate or deride. The use of “Democrat” as an adjective is one such example”.

    Just because that entry is dated September of 2012 does not mean it no longer applies.

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