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Mark Kennedy was the third Republican attempting to unseat Rep. David Minge since he was elected in 1992. But Kennedy was the first to succeed. His campaign slogan, "Kennedy Means Business" encapsulates his long career as a business executive. He is in favor of opening foreign markets, which he contends will boost earnings for farmers and help other businesses thrive. In addition, he wants to reduce capital gains taxes and eliminate inheritance taxes, which he argues are making it tougher for farmers and business owners to pass their assets to future generations. Like other Republicans, he also wants to get rid of the so-called marriage penalty. He serves on the Financial Services Committee, Transportation Committee, and Infrastructure Committee.
Kennedy has represented the 2nd District, which — up until 2002 — covered much of southwestern Minnesota. A court-drawn redistricting plan put his house within the boundaries of the 6th District and he decided to stay and run north of the Twin Cities instead. His decision set off a flurry of activity. Republican John Kline decided to run in the 2nd and 6th District incumbent congressman Bill Luther, a DFLer, also decided to move to the 2nd, ultimately losing to Rep. John Kline.
Kennedy's name is often mentioned as a potential candidate for U.S. Senate against Sen. Mark Dayton in 2006. Much of that speculation is based on Kennedy's appearance schedule in Minnesota, which often is outside the 6th District.
In 2004, Kennedy faced a candidate with little political
experience, but high name recognition in Patty Wetterling. Despite a campaign
on both sides that suggested a close race, Kennedy emerged with a 54%-to-46%
2004 results for the 6th District.