Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

2/22/2005

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Is Governor Tim Pawlenty backing Gutknecht?

Via our DFL friends over at Checks and Balances and fresh off the rumor mill floor comes word that Pawlenty is privately encouraging Gutknecht’s run for the Republican endorsement:

”We understand there are a number of Republican officeholders and party activists that feel Congressman Mark Kennedy (R-MN6) is not the best candidate U.S. Senate for the GOP in 2006. While many Republicans acknowledge Kennedy’s stalwart support for the Republican agenda as a Congressman, they question his abilities to be a featured candidate statewide.

We understand one of the people to hold this view is Governor Pawlenty. Though he will not say so publicly we understand he is encouraging Gutknecht to run for the Senate privately. With U.S. Senator Norm Coleman quickly endorsing the candidacy of Kennedy and Pawlenty siding with Gutknecht it looks like an endorsement fight is brewing. This is another example of how the Republican Party is falling into two camps, the pro-Pawlenty faction and the pro-Coleman faction. By our assessment the Pawlenty faction is far more powerful and closely aligned with the rank and file delegates. If it comes to a head-to-head contest between the influences of Pawlenty versus that of Coleman, the Coleman faction will not likely appreciate the result.”


Another example? Let’s start with one and work our way up, shall we?

Whether Pawlenty holds such a view or not is immaterial to the suggestion that Pawlenty’s “camp” will follow suit and back Gutknecht. About the only way that is going to happen is if Pawlenty publicly endorses Gutknecht and with the Governor up for reelection in 2006---and having to share the ticket with the eventual endorsement winner---that’s about as likely as James Lileks entering the Senate race. If Pawlenty is “endorsing” Gutknecht at all, it’s in his silence on the matter. He’s not going to get mud on his hands intervening in the Senate campaign unless he deeply dislikes/mistrusts/hates Mark Kennedy. And if he feels that way, I don’t think you’d need a website to tell you.

For more Kennedy/Gutknecht analysis, check out Knife Fights and Ripple Effects over at The First Ring. See you on the campaign trail starting tomorrow!

--Posted by First Ringer

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