Dayton v. Kennedy

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

3/01/2005

85% of Republican State Senators Back Kennedy

Kennedy's Senate campaign gains momentum

BY BILL SALISBURY

Pioneer Press


U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy’s campaign for the U.S. Senate gained momentum today when 26 of the 31 Republican members of the Minnesota Senate endorsed him.

“I’m very pleased for the outpouring of support, and I’m confident that I will be the Republican nominee as well as the senator representing Minnesota in 2007,” Kennedy said at a state Capitol news conference where he was surrounded by state lawmakers.

The 6th District congressman was the first candidate to jump into the 2006 race for the seat being vacated by Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton. Former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams has said he plans to run for the seat, and U.S. Rep. Gil Gutknecht is also considering a bid.

But Republican Party leaders, including U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, appear to be quickly jumping on the Kennedy bandwagon.

“My own sense is that our party is going to be stronger behind Congressman Kennedy, and it’s better for us to be unified quickly behind one candidate and present a unified message to the voters in November of 2006,” state Sen. Brian LeClair, R-Woodbury, said at the news conference.

Noting that 85 percent of Republican state senators back him, Kennedy said he expects the “same sort of overwhelming outpouring of support” from Minnesota House Republicans and grassroots GOP activists.

No Democrats have entered the Senate race yet, but those considering it include attorney Mike Ciresi, Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar and children’s advocate Patty Wetterling.

Bill Salisbury can be reached at bsalisbury@pioneerpress.com or (651) 228-5538.

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