Two attorneys running as Republicans in their respective bids to unseat Democrat Rep. Angie Craig from her Minnesota Second Congressional District seat in the U.S. House have agreed to a debate this month.
On Thursday, Jan. 18, the Scott County GOP will host Tayler Rahm and Joe Teirab in what the organization says will be the first debate among the Republican candidates leading up to the Second Congressional District Republican endorsing convention in April.
The forum between Rahm and Teirab will be held in Prior Lake. Rep. Walter Hudson, R-Albertville, will serve as moderator.
“We are excited to host this debate for our candidates so they can showcase their platforms, their ideas, and their strategies to defeat Angie Craig and the radical leftist agenda,” said Dale Even, a spokesperson for the Scott County GOP, which serves as the Basic Political Organizing Unit (BPOU) for Prior Lake, Shakopee, Savage, Belle Plaine, Jordan and a portion of New Prague.
Teirab, a Marine veteran and former federal prosecutor, announced his candidacy in October. The 36-year-old Minnesota native is a Harvard Law School graduate who served four years in the U.S. Marines before working in the Nicollet County Attorney’s Office. He then spent nearly four years as a lawyer in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota, where he was involved in prosecuting the Feeding Our Future fraud scheme that first came to light in 2021. Teirab’s campaign website says he is a Burnsville resident. Teirab has said his top priorities are to roll back federal income taxes, “slash reckless spending,” and work to end “partisan” agendas in education.
Rahm, a Minnesota native and criminal defense attorney, announced his candidacy in May. Rahm referred to himself as a “political outsider.” He doesn’t list any Republican Party affiliations on his campaign website, but his Federal Election Commission filing in June listed the Republican Party.
Rahm said his top issues are to stop “reckless spending” at the federal level of government, develop “common sense criminal laws to protect our communities and children,” better protect the U.S. border with Mexico to stop the wave of illegal drugs into America and “school choice.”
Third GOP candidate won’t be at debate
A third declared candidate for the MN-CD2 Republican endorsement, Mike Murphy, will not be participating in the Jan. 18 debate.
Murphy, who competed for the Republican endorsement for governor in 2022, registered with the FEC as a Republican for the MN-CD2 race in July, although he first announced he was running for the seat in March.
Murphy, a resident of Lexington in the north metro, doesn’t live in the Second Congressional District, but the federal constitution doesn’t require that an individual seeking to run for the U.S. House of Representatives lives in the district they serve. Article 1, Sec. 1 only requires a member of Congress to live in the state in which they would serve when they are elected.
Incumbent Craig has raised more than $2 million for re-election
Whoever ends up getting the nod from Republicans for the MN-CD2 election will have their work cut out for them.
In 2022, Tyler Kistner, the two-time Republican challenger to Craig, lost by five percentage points to Craig, just weeks after polls indicated President Joe Biden’s approval rating in Craig’s district was at just 41 percent with a disapproval rating of 58 percent. Kistner lost to Craig by two percentage points in 2020.
Craig had reported that her re-election campaign raised more than $2.2 million during the first three quarters of 2023, according to FEC filings. Rahm raised nearly $117,000 between April and the end of October in 2023. Fourth quarter 2023 fundraising data for any of the candidates is not yet available. Teirab only entered the race in October, so his fundraising numbers for the fourth quarter of 2023 are not yet listed. Murphy reported raising about $4,000 in 2023.
As of December, Cook Political Report listed the MN-CD2 race as “likely Democrat” among its ratings of 435 U.S. House seats up for election in November 2024.
The MN-CD2 debate between Republican candidates Tayler Rahm and Joe Teirab will be held at 7 p.m. at the Twin Oaks Middle School Auditorium (15860 Fish Point Rd SE) in Prior Lake. Find more information here.
Hank Long is a journalism and communications professional whose writing career includes coverage of the Minnesota legislature, city and county governments and the commercial real estate industry. Hank received his undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota, where he studied journalism, and his law degree at the University of St. Thomas. The Minnesota native lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and four children. His dream is to be around when the Vikings win the Super Bowl.