The Minnesota Reformer reported on Thursday that former federal prosecutor Joseph Teirab is planning to run for the swingy 2nd District, which lies in the Twin Cities suburbs. Republicans have yet to land a seemingly strong challenger to the district’s incumbent Democrat, Rep. Angie Craig, but Teirab may have some serious pull with national Republicans. The local political tipsheet Morning Take says he is expected to announce his campaign in the coming week.
Teirab didn’t clarify his interest in the race when the Reformer asked him. Instead, he referred their questions to a National Republican Congressional Committee official who is also a senior adviser to House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, a Minnesota congressman who recently finished his four-year tenure as the NRCC’s chairman. That’s a sign that national Republicans could be supportive of his candidacy since the NRCC is the party’s main national organization for recruiting candidates and winning House races.
Located in the suburbs south of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the 2nd District has seen competitive races in each of the last four elections in which Craig has run (including under its current map and its previous one). She narrowly lost her first bid, in 2016, but flipped the seat in 2018 and won hard-fought reelection campaigns in both 2020 and 2022. Craig won last year’s contest 51-46 against Marine veteran Tyler Kistner in a seat that Joe Biden would have won by 53-45. And this is the sort of district that Republicans would likely try to put into play again if they’re having a decent year nationally.
Months ago, Kistner said that he was considering another rematch with Craig after losing expensive races against her the last two times, but the Reformer additionally relayed that Kistner told supporters via an email last week that he has been deployed abroad as a Marine reservist. However, Kistner hinted at a future campaign in the same email: “We are not finished with what we started … I look forward to seeing you all upon my return in 2024.”
The only Republican who appears to be actively campaigning is attorney Tayler Rahm, who last month earned an endorsement from Craig’s predecessor, former one-term GOP Rep. Jason Lewis. However, Rahm only had $34,000 on hand at the end of the last reporting period, which ended on June 30. That is far from enough to run a strong race, but we’ll find out very soon if he raised significantly more in the third quarter. New campaign finance reports are due on Sunday.