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U.S. Senate: Mark Kennedy

Mark Kennedy announced his intention to run for the Senate, just two days after incumbent Mark Dayton announced he would not run for re-election. No one was surprised. Speculation that Mark Kennedy would run for the U.S. Senate was been a mainstay of Minnesota politics since late 2003. But first, Kennedy had to survive a challenge from Democrat Patty Wetterling to hold on to his 6th District seat in Congress. Although it was expected to be a close race -- Kennedy won by just 5 percent of the vote -- the Republican's strong showing may have caught notice of those who did not think Kennedy had sufficient strength to wage a statewide campaign. The 6th is a swing district and Wetterling was considered an extremely formidable candidate.

Few members of the Minnesota congressional delegation work harder to keep the support of the party faithful. During the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, Kennedy was the only member to court the delegates on a daily basis. And they responded to the attention with a level of enthusiasm that they seemed to have withheld from other Minnesota Republicans with more national cachet.

Kennedy is considered an excellent face-to-face campaigner; a trait often more valuable in congressional districts than statewide races. But he's also shown an ability to raise cash. Democrats had hoped a tough race against Wetterling would force him to spend money that might've gone to the Senate race. It did. He raised more than $2.6 million through the end of 2004, and used most of it in his re-election bid.

According to Project Vote Smart, Kennedy's voting record rates favorably with the National Association of Wheat Growers (100%), the National Taxpayers Union (59%), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (93%), the Eagle Forum (80%), the Family Research council (92%) in 2005 rankings. He ranked unfavorably with NARAL (0%), the NAACP (26%), the National Association for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (-3%), the National Education Associatin (0%) , US PIRG (10%), the American Public Health Association (12%) and the Disabled American Veterans (20%). The National Journal says he voted more conservative in 2005 on economic, defense and foreign policy issues than 72 percent of representatives. He did not return respond to Project Vote Smart's National Political Awareness Test.

In his September primary, Kennedy easily dispatched two Republican challengers, winning 90 percent of the Republican vote.

Candidate Bio

Mark Kennedy
Political affiliation:
Republican Party
April 11, 1957
Benson, MN.
Married (Debbie), four children. Catholic. Resides in Watertown.
U.S. Representative. Former CPA, Arthur Anderson, 1978-81; Director of finance for Pillsbury, 1983-87; Treasurer of Federated Department Stores, 1987-92; CFO, Shopko, 1992-95; CFO Dept 56, Inc., 1995-00.
B.A., St. John's, 1979. M.B.A, University of Michigan, 1983.
Major political experience:
Elected to the House in the 2nd District in 2000, defeating DFL incumbent David Minge. Re-elected in 2002 in the newly drawn 6th district, by defeating Janet Robert, 57-35 percent. Defeated Patty Wetterling in 2004, 54-46 percent.

On the Issues

Audio Abortion (3/2/06)
Audio ANWR oil drilling (12/20/05)
Audio Budget (2/10/06)
Audio CAFTA (3/2/06)
Audio China (6/2/05)
Audio Health care (3/2/06)
Audio Immigration (3/2/06)
Audio Iraq (11/25/05)
Audio Iraq - What constitutes success? (3/2/06)
Audio Iran (3/2/06)
Audio Medicare Part D (3/2/06)
Audio Social Security (3/2/06)
Audio Taxes and deficits (3/2/06)

Campaign Contribution Report

Total receipts
Cash on hand

Source: Political Moneyline - October 2006

Links and Resources

Campaign Web site:
Document www.markkennedy06.com
House Web site:
Document markkennedy.house.gov

Candidate Pages

Mark Kennedy
Democrat Amy Klobuchar sailed to an easy victory in the U.S. Senate race Tuesday, capitalizing on voter anger over the Iraq war to become Minnesota's first elected female senator. (11/08/2006)
With the final debate behind them, the candidates for governor hit the road Monday with a series of campaign stops to energize their voters and search out those who are still undecided. (11/06/2006)
Would rolling back income tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans cause small businesses to cut jobs? (11/06/2006)
Amy Klobuchar continues to hold a major leads in all of the independent polls, but Mark Kennedy believes he's closing the gap in the final days of the election. (11/05/2006)
Campaigns are about candidates, issues, fundraising and strategy. But in the end, it's the voters who will decide the election. Eight voters who have made up their minds about the U.S. Senate race explain who they are supporting and why. (Midday, 11/03/2006)
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kennedy questioned the honesty of his Democratic opponent Amy Klobuchar during a debate Sunday night, scaling up his rhetoric against her with 10 days to go until the election. (10/29/2006)
A collection of recent Minnesota Public Radio reports examining some of the issues in the races for the U.S. Senate and the governor's office. (Midday, 10/26/2006)
Minnesota's major party U.S. Senate candidates each offer a different approach to dealing with the war in Iraq. (10/26/2006)
As his fellow Republicans around the country try to distance themselves from the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, Minnesota Senate candidate Mark Kennedy is trying to turn the issue on its head. (10/24/2006)
Candidates in Minnesota's closely watched U.S. Senate race clashed Sunday on issues such as Iraq and tax policy, with the Republican candidate saying he stood by his vote to authorize the war in Iraq. (10/15/2006)
The Republican and Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate have radically difference approaches to tackling problems facing the nation's economy. Both want the deficit reduced, but would chart different courses to get there. (10/12/2006)
The three candidates running for Minnesota's open U.S. Senate seat held a lively debate Tuesday night on the Concordia College campus in Moorhead. (10/10/2006)
Democrat Amy Klobuchar, Republican Mark Kennedy and Independence Party candidate Robert Fitzgerald have all proposed ways to provide more health insurance coverage by controlling the cost of health care. (10/06/2006)
The latest ads in the Senate race are about crime in Hennepin County. Mark Kennedy, a Republican, is accusing DFLer Klobuchar of being soft on crime and breaking 1998 campaign promises. (09/29/2006)
DFLer Amy Klobuchar continues to maintain a double-digit lead over Republican Mark kennedy in the U.S. Senate race. (09/25/2006)
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