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Talking Points: The 'Trump Effect' On Minnesota Races

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Terri Bonoff, a veteran Democratic state senator, announced this weekend she will run against Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen.

Bonoff  is entering the race at a time when Democrats across the country believe that Republicans may be vulnerable if Donald Trump is the party's nominee.

Some call it the Trump effect – it's a theory that if Donald Trump is the party's nominee, it could hurt moderate Republicans in local races. Congressman Erik Paulsen's district includes the western suburbs of Brooklyn Park, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Bloomington.

First elected in 2008, Paulsen has easily won his previous re-election bids. But the district has also voted for Barack Obama twice, as well as Senator Amy Klobuchar. And that is why Democrats believe they can win the seat especially if Trump or even Senator Ted Cuz is the nominee.

Senator Terri Bonoff was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning. She said, "Erik Paulsen ought to put his foot down and say 'I reject this.  I reject candidates who talk about building walls. I reject candidates who allow the kind of violence that has gone on at these rallies'" and that Erik Paulsen needs to defend his silence on to many issues.

While Congressman Paulsen has a strong conservative voting record, he has also made it a point to work with Democrats in Congress. The Bonoff/Paulsen race means Minnesota will now have three of the most watched and expensive Congressional races in the nation.

The others are the rematch of Stewart Mills and Rick Nolan in the Eighth District, and an all-out war for the Second District, which has been left open by the retirement of Congressman John Kline.

Congressman Paulsen had endorsed Senator Marco Rubio, but since Rubio's withdrawal has not endorsed any other candidate. Congressman Paulsen's campaign issued this statement about Senator Bonoff, who ran for the seat back in 2008.

The statement said, "Terri Bonoff is a failed Congressional candidate retread back for another try. Bonoff's record will be a heavy, heavy weight around her campaign again."

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Mike Augustyniak every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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