From MPR's Dan Kraker...
Longtime DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar endorsed Rick Nolan today in his bid to unseat GOP freshman incumbent Chip Cravaack. Cravaack beat Oberstar two years ago by fewer than five thousand votes. In accepting the endorsement today at the Minnesota Mining Museum in Chisholm, Nolan said Oberstar's endorsement matters even though he lost the last election.
"He lost it because Democrats got complacent," Nolan said. "94,000 of them didn't show up for the election and having traveled throughout this district, a number of things become clear. One is the enormity of respect that people in this district have for Jim Oberstar."
Nolan served in Congress representing a different Minnesota district from 1975 to 1981. He won the DFL endorsement last month. But he has two challengers in September's Democratic primary: former state senator Tarryl Clark, and former Duluth city councilor Jeff Anderson.(1 Comments)
Posted at 1:28 PM on June 4, 2012
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Campaign 2012: Minn. Senate Races
Rep. Connie Doepke, R-Orono, announced today that she will run in the primary election in August against the GOP-endorsed candidate in Senate District 33.
Doepke is serving her second term in the Minnesota House. She decided earlier this year to run for the Senate seat being vacated by the retirement of Sen. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista. But at the district endorsing convention last month, Doepke lost to David Osmek of Mound.
After filing her paperwork with the Secretary of State's office, Doepke explained that she felt the endorsing process was "taken over" by a "small group of activists."
"I didn't feel that my constituents had the representation at the endorsing convention that they deserved," Doepke said. "People have called me and said they want me to run in the primary."
Osmek, a longtime member of the Mound City Council, said he was disappointed by Doepke's decision. He said she respected the wishes of GOP delegates twice before but is now turning her back on them.
Osmek said he had the support of more than 40 percent of the delegates on the first ballot in a three-way race. The other candidate was backed by Ron Paul supporters, but Osmek said he eventually won their support.
"I certainly do not espouse to all of things that those supporters are, but I think I best next matched what they were looking for in a candidate," Osmek said.
Posted at 2:48 PM on June 4, 2012
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Campaign 2012: Minn. House Races
Rep. Roger Crawford, R-Mora, announced today that he will not be seeking re-election to a second term in the Minnesota House this fall.
In an e-mail to constituents, Crawford noted that he recently suffered a mild heart attack requiring two stents.
"Since last July, I've had two mild heart attacks and now five stents in my heart," Crawford wrote. "Needless to say, this has my family and me concerned."
Crawford had not yet filed as a candidate in House District 11B. But two other candidates have filed. Ben Wiener of Finlayson is running as a Republican. Nathan Johnson of Pine City is a DFL candidate.
Tim Faust of Hinckley also filed as a DFL candidate.
Clark is one of three DFL candidates who want the chance to challenge first-term Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack. The other DFL candidates are Rick Nolan, who won the party endorsement, and Jeff Anderson. The primary election is Aug. 14.
Clark said her strategy is to reach out to as many voters as possible, including Republicans and independents. She said she's been attending
about up to 10 events per week day.
"We need a little more common sense in Washington, and being connected to the people, I think, is going to make a real difference," Clark said.
As a state legislator, Clark represented St. Cloud. Her husband still practices law there. But Clark said her residence is now in Duluth.
The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Minnesota Kurt Bills spent some time today campaigning in Wisconsin.
But Bills sent a mixed message by saying he supports both collective bargaining rights and Walker's efforts to roll back union protections for public employees in state and local governments.
"Can you collectively bargain? Yes, you absolutely can," Bills said. "But I think people have to be very careful especially with the public union side that sometimes you can drive costs up too much and at that point, these districts are going to get into rough shape."
When pressed for a clarification, Bills said he would need to study up on the changes made under Walker. Wisconsin residents choose tomorrow between Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a recall election.
Bills also said his fundraising is going very well suggesting the campaign has raised more than $100,000 since he entered the race.
He also repeated his criticism that Klobuchar and Senate Democrats have failed to pass a budget resolution in three years.
Klobuchar spent Monday morning speaking to Women Winning, a group that supports legal abortion. Klobuchar said the group's support will be critical to help Democrats win in November.
She encouraged the group of 1,200 people in attendance to work harder to elect female candidates.
"We have been through tough times in this country but we are going to make it and we will win but to do it, we need to deploy a secret weapon," Klobuchar said. "We need women to win." (Full speech here: Listen )
Klobuchar declined to answer questions after her speech because she said she was late for her flight to Washington D.C.