Patty Wetterling, who transformed anguish over her son’s 1989 abduction into a crusade for child safety, will challenge Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minn., this fall, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Wetterling, 54, will announce her candidacy as a Democrat this week.
Wetterling has widespread name recognition and could capitalize on the fundraising connections that she and her husband developed. They created a foundation to focus national attention on missing children after a masked man stole away their 11-year-old son, Jacob. The Star Tribune notes that Wetterling is untested politically and is jumping late into a pricey campaign.
She may be a long shot. “Here’s the harsh reality,” said University of Minnesota political science Prof. Lawrence Jacobs. “She’s a sympathy candidate running against an incumbent.”