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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

Promising to bring Minnesota values to Washington, U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy on Thursday night secured the Republican endorsement as its 2006 candidate for the U.S. Senate. Kennedy's endorsement capped the first night of the state Republican convention at the Minneapolis Convention center. (06/01/2006)
Minnesota Republicans begin their state convention Thursday night in Minneapolis. The main order of business on the first night is to endorse a candidate for U.S. Senate. There's no surprise who that will be -- U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy, who has had the endorsement locked up for months. (06/01/2006)
The Iraq war has lost lots of support among Americans. What do the members of the Minnesota delegation think we should do now? (04/05/2006)
Taxes, health care and national security were among the key issues addressed by three candidates running for Minnesota's open U.S. Senate seat. (03/03/2006)
Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minn., has set his sights on the U.S. Senate. He's running for the seat vacated by Democratic Sen. Mark Dayton, who is not seeking reelection. (Midday, 03/02/2006)
Republican lawmakers and Emily's List have emerged as big early players in the Minnesota senate race, an Associated Press review of campaign finance reports shows. (02/16/2006)
MPR's Tom Crann talks with Rep. Mark Kennedy about President Bush's proposed federal budget (02/10/2006)
On Thursday, President Bush makes his 18th stop in Minnesota since taking office. Given recent approval ratings, does his appearance cast a negative shadow on GOP candidates here? Or does it fire up the base? (02/01/2006)
DFL candidate Kelly Doran leads the money chase in the Minnesota governor's race, thanks mainly to his own loans. In the Senate race, Mark Kennedy is outpacing DFLer Amy Klobuchar. (01/31/2006)
Rep. Mark Kennedy, an opponent of drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, voted for a defense bill Monday that authorizes it. (12/19/2005)
President Bush traveled to Minnesota Friday to raise money for the U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Rep. Mark Kennedy. Bush spoke about the need to be tough on terrorism, and also urged Republicans to elect Kennedy to the Senate. (12/09/2005)
President Bush is in town Friday raising money for Minnesota Republican Rep. Mark Kennedy's U.S. Senate bid. With Bush's poll numbers languishing, will he be able to help Republicn candidates? ( 12/09/2005)
President Bush's fundraising visit in support of Senate candidate Mark Kennedy, comes when the president's approval rating in Minnesota has plunged. If that trend continues, it could hurt the chances in 2006. (12/09/2005)
The Pentagon is tentatively considering reducing the number of troops in Iraq by as many as three brigades over the next year, according to news reports. There are currently 18 brigades on the ground. Is U.S. military strategy in Iraq proving effective? ( 11/25/2005)
A budget-cutting package in the U.S. House would reduce funding for programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and student loans. Opponents of the bill are targeting four Minnesota Republicans, including 6th District Rep. Mark Kennedy, who's running for U.S. Senate. (11/16/2005)
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