Engstrand is seaking to represent Texas' 36th Congressional District — a new district created as a result of the 2010 Census. Engstrand ran for the 1st Congressional District seat in 2010 but dropped out after failing to win the GOP endorsement. Hayfield Republican Randy Demmer won the endorsement. Demmer ended up losing to incumbent DFL Congressman Tim Walz by 5 percentage points.
Engstrand served 22 years in the National Guard. On his new campaign website, he touts growing up on a family farm and his military service. The website sums up Engstrand as follows: "If you want a fighter who will call a lie a lie , If you want a Big Government Spending Cutter (25% ACROSS THE FULL SPECTRUM OF GOVERNMENT), If you want a down to earth approachable liberty loving tyranny fighting non- establishment candidate please sign up to get Jim elected."
Republican Sen. Mike Parry of Waseca is the first Republican to announce he is running against Walz in 2012.