Paulsen picks up his first challenger

WASHINGTON — Businesswoman Sharon Sund announced her second challenge to Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen on Thursday.

Sund briefly ran in the 3rd District in 2012 but dropped out when the DFL endorsed Brian Barnes instead. Paulsen won more than 58 percent of the vote that fall and defeated Barnes by more than 16 points.

A press release announcing Sund’s campaign describes her as a “scientist, businesswoman, and long time Plymouth community advocate” who has worked for Target, SuperValu and St. Jude, as well as several advocacy groups in the area. She’s the chair of the Hennepin County Democrats.

“As your congresswoman, I will work tirelessly to ensure that all families have access to a world-class education, quality health care, and a healthy environment, and all of us have a voice in the decisions that impact our lives,” she said in a statement.

The 3rd District is one of a handful of districts won by both President Obama and a Republican U.S. House candidate in 2012, which has given Democrats some reason to hope it might be a competitive seat going forward. But Paulsen is a formidable incumbent: he won by double-digits in both 2012 and 2010, and as of January, his campaign had $1.7 million in the bank.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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