Dayton v. Kennedy

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

2/11/2005

The Coleman Effect

You didn’t really think endorsements were just a gold star on a candidate’s campaign resume, did you?

Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman’s endorsement of Mark Kennedy is already paying dividends. Ben Whitney, the son of former Minnesota Vikings owner and 1982 GOP candidate for Governor Wheelock Whitney, has apparently begun seeking Kennedy supporters among the Republican faithful. Whitney was also Coleman’s 2002 U.S. Senate campaign manager and the Minnesota chief coordinator for George W. Bush reelection campaign. No word yet if Whitney's efforts signal a change in Kennedy's advisory team, but more likely the calls are only a sign of Coleman's influence in the coming campaign.

Whitney has been especially targeting activists and convention delegates in the first congressional district in an obvious attempt to deny Gil Gutknecht from rallying any of his normal congressional base to a potential Senate campaign. Word is that the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive for Whitney and Kennedy.

Unless Gutknecht lands a significant endorsement of his own (and Vin Weber doesn’t count, Gilly) and soon, the odds of even a token effort by Minnesota 1st Congressional Congressman don’t appear very likely.

UPDATE: A good source (cough/Gary), informs me that Whitney has been involved in the Kennedy campaign before today's call to activists in 1st Congressional (and one assumes elsewhere) and so did not just jump aboard following Norm Coleman's endorsement late yesterday. Neither did Coleman directly influence John Kline's decision to endorse his congressional comrade, but Coleman certainly got the ball rolling by being the first to endorse Kennedy. And reportedly, Vin Weber will NOT endorse Gutknecht, which isn't all that surprising given the events of the last few days. Weber had made some positive noises about a potential Gutknecht candidacy.

--Posted by First Ringer

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