U.S. Navy veteran and marketing executive Brian Barnes is seeking the DFL nomination to take on two-term GOP incumbent Erik Paulsen in the Third Congressional District. Barnes officially announced his candidacy at a Capitol press conference on Monday.
“Erik’s record is anything but moderate,” Barnes said. “He may dress like one, even talk like one, but his actions are in lock-step with the most extreme elements of the Republican party.”
The Third Congressional District doesn’t tilt politically in favor of either party. The Cook Partisan Voting Index classifies it as “even” in terms of partisan edge. But the area has been represented by a Republican for five decades. Paulsen initially won an open seat in 2008 by 8 percentage points. Two years later he cruised to a 22-point victory.
Barnes spent 11 years in the U.S. Navy reserves. He currently is a marketing executive with Cummins, Inc.
Sharon Sund previously announced that she will also seek the DFL nomination. Barnes said that he intends to abide by the DFL endorsement. He also stated that the redistricting process will not affect his decision to challenge Paulsen.
“I will challenge Erik Paulsen regardless of where the lines are drawn,” he said.