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Former ‘CCO Anchor Don Shelby Mulling Run Against Paulsen

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Former WCCO anchor Don Shelby has been keeping himself occupied since retiring from his position delivering the evening news to Minnesotans back in 2010.

But he may soon be embarking on his most ambitious venture yet — Washington, D.C.

A high-level source told WCCO political reporter Pat Kessler that he is considering a possible run against Rep. Erik Paulsen, who represents Minnesota’s 3rd congressional district. The district covers the western Twin Cities suburbs.

Shelby told Kessler he’s been approached by democrats in Washington and Minnesota about running for Congress. He said he’s flattered by the suggestion but hasn’t made any decision on whether he’ll run, adding it’s “extremely premature.”

Shelby describes himself as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal.

He’d have immediate name recognition if he chose to run, and even though there’s a Republican congressman, it’s a district President Obama won.

Shelby told Kessler on Thursday his family is his most important consideration, and he’ll make a decision very soon.

“It is extremely flattering,” he said. “It’s not the first time that I have been asked to run for some office by three different parties. So it is wonderful to think about the possibility of serving my country in another way, but this is extremely premature.”

His most important concern remains the environment.

And Shelby said a big consideration will be this — that if he runs, he won’t be able to be a journalist again.

Shelby was hired at WCCO-TV in 1978, to co-anchor the weekend news with Pat Miles. Not long after, he was named main anchor at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. While known mostly for his anchoring, it’s his contributions to investigative reporting through his I-TEAM reports that made his name in Twin Cities media.

Shelby has won all five of the nation’s top journalism awards, including three national Emmys, the Columbia duPont award, the Scripps-Howard Award and the Society of Professional Journalists Distinguished Service Award.

In 1997, Shelby was honored with the Peabody Award, the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, for his ongoing work with the youth of Minnesota.

He retired from WCCO-TV in November 2010. Shelby, 66, is currently employed at the website Bring Me The News.

Paulsen was elected to the post in 2008, filling the seat that had previously been held by Jim Ramstad. The 3rd district hasn’t seen a candidate backed by the Democratic-Farm-Labor Party in office since Roy Wier left office in 1961.

Paulsen has already raised $1.3 million and has a campaign organization in place.

Shelby said he’ll make a decision within the next two days.

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