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.