Today, GOP Rep. John Kline (MN-02) announced that he would retire after seven terms in 2016. Kline's military background and chairmanship of the House Education and the Workforce Committee helped him thrive politically in a swing district south of the Twin Cities, and he even won comfortably in the 2006 and 2008 Democratic waves. But without Kline on the ballot, Minnesota's 2nd CD will become one of Democrats' top takeover opportunities in 2016. Court-led redistricting in 2012 made this seat several points less Republican by adding some close-in suburbs south of St. Paul. Under the current lines, President Obama carried the seat 50 percent to 48 percent in 2008 and by less than one tenth of a percent in 2012. This is one of the few remaining quintessential swing districts in the House, and Kline is one of just 26 House Republicans sitting in a district Obama carried in 2012. Democrats are further emboldened here by their big head start. Prior to Kline's announcement, they already had not one but two impressive candidates: healthcare executive Angie Craig and ophthalmologist Mary
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