Congress: 6th District
Patty Wetterling's uncertain political future
When it's time to redistrict congressional districts in Minnesota, the 6th District usually is the battleground. The last redistricting — 2002 — was no exception as a large block of the 7th and 2nd Districts were awarded to the 6th, dramatically changing the politics in the district. Before redistricting, faster growing Eastern suburbs such as Woodbury and Oakdale — which tended to be somewhat Republican — vied with some established DFL-leaning northern suburbs. But with the addition of cities around the St. Cloud area, most every candidate concentrated on these more-conservative, voter-rich areas. In 2002, incumbent, pro-choice Rep. Bill Luther didn't bother to run for re-election, moving into the 2nd instead. Republican Mark Kennedy, who had been in the 2nd, fairly easily beat Oak Park Heights DFLer Janet Roberts 57-to-35 percent, and then showed the power of the northwestern region by setting up his district offices in Buffalo, Hugo, and St. Cloud, ignoring the suburbs that were in the 6th District to begin with. Demographically, however, the district has the same face: former farm fields turn into subdivisions. It heavily supported Sen. Norm Coleman and Gov. Tim Pawlenty — both Republicans — in 2002.
Democrat Patty Wetterling lost her bid for Congress by 30,000 votes. But political observers say Wetterling, as a first-time candidate, made a good showing against incumbent Republican Mark Kennedy. Now many wonder about Wetterling's political future.
Meet the Candidates: Mark Kennedy and Patty Wetterling
The congressional race in Minnesota's 6th District has been one of the most closely watched in the country. In what would otherwise be a relatively safe reelection campaign, Republican Mark Kennedy is facing a challenge from a very well-known first-time candidate: missing children's advocate Patty Wetterling. Minnesota Public Radio's Meet the Candidates series continues with back-to-back interviews with Kennedy and Wetterling.
Sixth District candidates debate
Sixth District Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy is defending his seat from well-known missing children's advocate Patty Wetterling, a Democrat. They square off at a Sunday evening debate in St. Paul sponsored by the League of Women Voters and KSTP-TV. Minnesota Public Radio broadcasts the debate as part of our "Meet the Candidates" series.
Kennedy, Wetterling stage final 6th District debate
Incumbent Republican Mark Kennedy and his Democratic challenger Patty Wetterling are involved in one of Minnesota's hottest congressional races. Their final debate was broadcast live from a Twin Cities television station.
Negative ads suggest close race in Minnesota's 6th District
Republican Mark Kennedy and the National Republican Congressional Committee are stepping up their criticism of DFLer Patty Wetterling. Both Kennedy and the NRCC are running television advertisements questioning Wetterling's credibility as a candidate and the special interest groups that support her. Wetterling says the ads are unfair and has countered with an ad of her own questioning the Republican tactics.
Congressional candidates debate in St. Cloud
The two candidates for Minnesota's 6th Congressional District met over the weekend for their second debate in St. Cloud. Incumbent Republican Mark Kennedy and Democratic challenger Patty Wetterling showed contrasting opinions on topics ranging from Social Security to the war in Iraq.
In Minnesota's sprawling 6th District, the battleground may be TV
The candidates in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District are battling over the war on terrorism and homeland security. Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy has been running an ad suggesting DFL opponent Patty Wetterling opposes the war in Afghanistan. Wetterling says Kennedy is misleading voters and has been running her own ads touting her accomplishments in fighting crime.
Kennedy, Wetterling debate issues in 6th District race
Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy and DFL challenger Patty Wetterling met in their first head-to-head debate on Sunday in Minneapolis. The two candidates are running in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District, which takes up St. Cloud, the northern Twin Cities suburbs and eastern suburbs, such as Woodbury and Stillwater.
Delegation visit frames question: How best to serve?
A group of Minnesotans attending the Republican National Convention in New York spent several hours on Tuesday painting a day care center. The volunteer work was part of the Republican Party's theme of "compassionate conservatism." Minnesota Republicans say the activity highlights their belief that the government can't fix all of society's problems, and individuals need to step to the plate. Critics say while Republicans talk about compassion, Republican officials have cut much of the safety net for people in need.
Minnesota representatives get a firsthand look at the Middle East
Two of Minnesota's U.S. Congressional Representatives, returning from an eight-day tour of Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, share their impressions of the situation there.
Mark Kennedy touts experience in re-election campaign
Congressman Mark Kennedy finds himself in his third competitive race in three runs for the U.S. House. The Republican narrowly defeated an incumbent in 2000. In 2002, he ran against a well-financed challenger and now he's running against the well-known, well-financed Patty Wetterling. Kennedy has been mentioned in Republican party circles as a possible opponent to DFL Sen. Mark Dayton in 2006. But Kennedy says he's focusing on keeping his seat in Congress.
Kennedy, McCollum leave Iraq with different impressions
Finishing up a congressional trip to Iraq,
Rep. Betty McCollum was struck by how fearful ordinary Iraqis were
of continued violence. Rep. Mark Kennedy, on the same trip,
marveled at how much things are improving.
Farmfest's congressional forum
It's an election year, so more than machinery
was on hand at this summer's Farmfest. Plenty of politicians were there, too, at the Gilfillan Estate near Morgan. The event will include a variety of candidates and government
officials participated in a candidate forum.
Pols get earful from educators on No Child Left Behind law
One of the architects of the federal Leave No Child Behind law faced a round of criticism on Thursday from Minnesota educators. The chair of the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee met in Woodbury with a group of principals, school superintendents and teachers to talk about concerns with federal education policies.
Congressional candidates debate trade policies
Several hundred people at a congressional debate at Farmfest on Tuesday got a preview of the fall election campaign. Candidates from several Minnesota congressional districts tackled everything from rural education to ethanol. Some of the sharpest opinions concerned U.S. trade policy.