Politics and Government

Republican candidate says he will continue to run regardless of endorsement

A person poses for a portrait
Former federal prosecutor Joe Teirab says he will run in primary even if he fails to win the GOP endorsement.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

A Republican candidate said he will continue to run in the race for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District even if he isn’t endorsed by the party.

Former federal prosecutor Joe Teirab and criminal defense attorney Tayler Rahm are running against each other in the Republican primary. They both signed a pledge last fall agreeing to back the favorite of the endorsing convention. Now, Teirab said he’s running in the primary even if he fails to win the GOP endorsement.

The convention will take place this weekend. 

Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District race is expected to be one of the most hard-fought in the nation this fall. Three-term DFL Rep. Angie Craig is campaigning for a fourth term in the House. Republicans hope to deny her. Craig narrowly won her previous three campaigns.

Teirab did not immediately return calls from MPR News about his decision. He has stressed that he is in a better position to challenge Craig, with a roughly 10-fold advantage over Rahm in available campaign dollars in the most-recent federal reports.

Rahm issued a statement calling Teirab’s campaign tactics “dishonest and self-serving.”

A looming primary battle now stands to be a months-long inner party battle. The primary election will take place in mid-August.

Rep. Craig spoke Monday about her potential challengers. She criticized them for wanting to restrict abortion. She also indicated that abortion policy will be central to her re-election campaign this year, just as it was in the 2022 midterm elections.

She spoke against leaving abortion policy to the states.

“Look how that’s going for us, leaving it up to the states. Think about Arizona and a near total abortion ban and criminalizing doctors. Think about Florida, where they're about to enact a six-week abortion ban. Politicians do not belong in any part of this decision,” Craig said.

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