Dayton v. Kennedy

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

2/27/2005

Count Deano Out

St. Senator and DFL Majority Leader Dean Johnson says count him out of any talk for U.S. Senate.

”Johnson says he's "99 percent sure" that he won't run in 2006 for Sen. Mark Dayton's seat. Dayton announced earlier in the month that he would not seek a second term.

Johnson, a DFL senator from Willmar, said in a radio interview with KWLM-AM that he's not even sure he'll run for reelection to the state Senate, but he's a bit interested in another job

He wouldn't say which one, but when asked specifically about running for governor he would only say that he needs time before making a decision.”


Johnson, the former GOP Minority Leader in the Senate until leaving the party in 2000, resurrected his career by becoming the man in charge of the DFL Senate in 2004 after a previous session which saw feeble DFL efforts to block the legislative agenda of the House GOP and newly elected Governor Tim Pawlenty. Johnson’s 2004 session effectively killed most of the major Republican-led bills that year and is credited by Republicans as partially responsible for the major GOP State House losses that year.

Despite the accomplishment, Johnson was not considered a serious contender for U.S. Senate nor is he considered the likely DFL nominee for Governor in Minnesota. But with the DFL’s attention becoming more and more focused on the Senate race and Attorney General Mike Hatch’s lack of commitment (thus far) in running for Governor, Johnson could conceivably still run for higher office in 2006. How much Johnson’s previous Republican past would haunt him for a potential endorsement would be interesting to watch.

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