Republican Allen Quist said in an interview today that he will "very likely" run again for the 1st Congressional District seat. I asked Quist why he would want to jump into the race when another conservative lawmakers who shares a lot of Quist's views is already running — state Sen. Mike Parry of Waseca.
Quist said a "significant" number of senate Republicans told him they want Parry to stay in the Minnesota Senate.
"I mean, c'mon. This is the first time the Republicans have had the majority in the Senate since party designation came, and anything that is going to make it harder for the Republicans to keep control of the Senate I am going to oppose," he said.
Parry announced last month he would challenge 1st District DFL Rep. Tim Walz. So far, he is the only Republican to officially jump into the race.
Quist ran for the congressional seat in 2010 but dropped out after losing the Republican endorsement to Randy Demmer. Quist has a long history in the Republican Party. He challenged incumbent Republican Gov. Arne Carlson in 1994 and won the party's endorsement. But Quist went on to lose the primary to Carlson in a landslide.
Quist emphasized that he would run a grassroots campaign.
"My approach is never to go to party leaders and ask for their support, blessing or whatever because my approach is I am a grassroots guy. I listen to the people in the coffee shop, the people out working for a living, the people out doing the grunt wor,k and I don't much care what the leaders say," Quist said.
When asked if he would abide by the Republican endorsement if he does run, Quist said he has historically done that but would not specifically say if he would in this case.
If he does run, Quist said he will emphasize his opposition to the federal health care overhaul. He argues "Obamacare" ends up penalizing married couples and leads to an "extraordinary income redistribution."