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Campaign 2004

Candidate Bio
Mark Kennedy
Political affiliation:
Republican Party
April 11, 1957
Benson, Minn.
Married to Debbie Kennedy. Four children (Charles, Emily, Sarah, Peter) Catholic.
6th District Congressman. CPA, Arthur Anderson, 1978-81; Dir. of Finance, Pillsbury Co., 1983-87. Treas., Federated Department Stores, 1987-92; CFO, Shopko Stores, 1992-95; CFO Dept 56, Inc., 1995-00.
B.A., St. John's University, 1979; MBA, University of Michigan, 1983.
Major political experience:
Elected to U.S. House, 2000.
On the Issues
Audio Iraq (8/2/04)
Audio Deficits(8/2/04)
Audio Tax relief(8/2/04)
Audio Transportation(12/8/03)
Audio Rural health care (12/8/03)
Audio Trade (12/8/03)
Audio & Debates
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Campaign Web site:
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Document Political Money Line
Candidate Pages
District Pages

Mark Kennedy

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% victory. See 2004 results for the 6th District.

Patty Wetterling's uncertain political future
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.

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