Former Regent drops out of race

Maureen Reed will support Democrat Tarryl Clark in the Congressional race.

James Nord

Maureen Reed, a former chairwoman of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, dropped out of the 6th Congressional District race with a âÄúheavy heartâÄù on Sunday. She had been running against state Sen. Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, in the Democratic primary there as both hoped to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann. Reed, a self-proclaimed moderate Democrat, was considered a long shot in the race, both against Clark in the primary and Bachmann in the Nov. 2 general election. Reed was unavailable for comment, but said in a statement that she threw her support behind Clark in order to unite the Democratic Party behind one candidate. Reed was a âÄúgraciousâÄù candidate and a âÄúspirited competitor,âÄù Clark said. âÄúThe rationale is that Tarryl Clark has amassed significant resources in the race and that Democrats coming together gets us the best chance to beat Bachmann,âÄù Trevor Willet, a spokesman for the Reed campaign, said. Clark had held a significant edge over Reed in terms of party support and fundraising throughout the campaign. In March, it took DFL party delegates only one ballot to endorse Clark over Reed in the race. In terms of fundraising, Clark had raised more than $1.1 million to ReedâÄôs more than $779,000 through the first quarter this year. Both trail Bachmann, who has raised more than $2.3 million. Although the two camps disagreed on some issues, both agree they are fundamentally similar. Creating jobs and funding schools were the focus of ReedâÄôs campaign, Willet said. Reed, a Twin Cities doctor for more than 20 years, was also dedicated to bringing down the cost of health care. Reed served on the Board of Regents for eight years, beginning in 1997, and served as chairwoman from 2001 to 2003. In 2006, Reed ran for lieutenant governor on the Independence Party ticket. This latest bid for public office might not be her last, Willet said. âÄúSheâÄôd definitely consider an opportunity to serve in the future if something came up,âÄù he said.