Former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman announced tonight on Twitter that he won't run for political office in 2014. Coleman announced earlier this year that he would not run against DFL Sen. Al Franken but tonight's announcement means he's ruling out a run for governor as well.
Public service is an important part of my life.It will remain so even though I will not run for public office in 2014.— Norm coleman (@normcoleman) March 8, 2013
Want to mentor a new generation of optimistic, limited government focused leaders who aren't afraid to find common ground to solve problems— Norm coleman (@normcoleman) March 8, 2013
will focus time and energy helping MInnesota elect Senator &Governor who support free enterprise,efficient govt & seek 2bring folks together— Norm coleman (@normcoleman) March 8, 2013
Coleman's announcement, which was first reported by KSTP's Tom Hauser, means there is now a wide open field for Republicans looking to challenge DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Franken.
Coleman has been repeatedly mentioned as a top candidate to challenge either Franken or Dayton in 2014. He lost to Franken in 2008 by 312 votes.
U.S. Rep. John Kline and U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen have left open the possibility of challenging Franken in 2014.
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson has said he's thinking about challenging Dayton. Other possible candidates include state Sen. Julie Rosen, state Rep. Kurt Zellers, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek and businesssman Scott Honour.