Dayton v. Kennedy

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

2/14/2005

Congressional Congestion

Two down, maybe seven more to go.

Sen. Michele Bachmann and St. Rep. Jim Knoblach officially entered the race for the Republican endorsement for Mark Kennedy’s Sixth Congressional seat. Bachmann, a prominent conservative known for pushing pro-life legislation (among other hot-button issues) and Knoblach, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, are the first of what is expected to be an extremely crowded field in the GOP.

How crowded? So far, the following have expressed interest in the seat:

* St. Rep. Phil Krinkie, a very strong, but not very charismatic fiscal conservative.

* St. Senator Michelle Fischbach, another social conservative who introduced the Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act.

* Ex-Education Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke, who earned the ire of the DFL over her education platform and was ultimately not confirmed as Education Commissioner.

* St. Senator Mark Ourada might be best known (if he’s known at all) for his controversial plan to remove restrictions on nuclear waste at the Prairie Island storage facility.

* Activist Dan Nygaard, a member of the Bush/Cheney Minnesota Leadership Team.

* Activist Jay Esmay, a former officer in the United States Air Force and part of Governor Pawlenty’s Commission on National and Community Services.

* And Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, who has been rumored to run for higher office since the summer of 2004 but has yet to publicly signal any particular intention.

And this list doesn’t even included potential Democrats, starting with 2004 nominee Patty Wetterling. The GOP field will undoubtedly shorten by the time of the Sixth Congressional convention and will probably shrink even before that as some candidates will simply have a difficult time gaining support or raising money. But given the number of potential candidates, the chances for a primary campaign certainly can’t be ruled out. If the GOP can’t agree on a candidate after the convention, chalk this race up as a good pick-up opportunity for the DFL if Wetterling runs again.

--Posted by First Ringer

UPDATE: Hat tip to a faithful reader (see the 'Comments' section) to include St. Cloud's own Sen. Dave Kleis. So I guess it's two down, eight to go.

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