Mayo Clinic doctor Scott Wright decides against congressional bid
Dr. Scott Wright, of Rochester, has decided not to challenge 1st District DFL Rep. Tim Walz.
In an interview, the Mayo Clinic physician said a group of state and national Republicans approached him in March and urged him to run. He has been thinking about it since May. But this past weekend, he held a family meeting with his wife and four kids, who range in age from 10 to 20. The family decided as a whole that now was not the right time for a congressional run.
"It's just a very challenging time to think about doing it," he said.
Wright said he believed his background as a physician made him a strong candidate to take on Walz since the new federal health care law is set to take effect next year.
"I think that Obamacare is going to be a big issue in 2014. People will come to realize that it's going to drive the cost of health care up, not down," he said.
State Rep. Mike Benson, R-Rochester, is the only Republican to officially jump into the race. Several other Republicans are considering it, including former Sen. Al DeKruif, of Madison Lake, former Sen. Mike Parry, of Waseca, Byron veteran Aaron Miller and Blue Earth resident Jim Hagedorn, son of former GOP Congressman Tom Hagedorn.
Wright ran unsuccessfully in 2006 for the state Senate, losing to Rochester DFLer Ann Lynch. He lives in House District 26B, which is represented by Benson. So if Benson ends up not running for re-election, would he be tempted to run for the state House seat?
Not at this time, Wright said. He said a state representative seat also would require a tremendous time commitment at a time when he needs to focus on his family. Even so, he said he will continue advocating at the state and federal level on issues he cares about, which include education reform, biotechnology and health care reform.