Dayton v. Kennedy

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

3/04/2005

Local Media Coverage of Gutknecht Announcement

Both the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press ran stories reporting on Republican U.S. Rep. Gil Gutknecht's official annoucement today that he is not going to run for the Republican nomination to U.S. Senate, and will instead seek re-election to his current Congressional seat.

The Pioneer Press piece was short and straight forward noting:

He stopped short of endorsing U.S. Rep Mark Kennedy for the U.S. Senate in 2006, but he said, "I am confident that my party will field a strong, qualified candidate.''

The congressman said if he were to run statewide, the office he would want would be that of governor. He made his announcement at the Olmsted County Republican Party headquarters, filled with local party supporters who cheered his decision and told him afterwards that he chose the right path.

Gutknecht's announcement further elevates the candidacy of Kennedy, who has the support of much of Minnesota's Republican leaders. Former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams said he is planning to seek the Republican endorsement as well.

The Star Tribune article goes into more detail, intentionally or not portraying a sense of more intra-party ill-will among Republicans:

"I don't really believe in some of the king-maker stuff that's been going on here in the last three or four weeks," Gutknecht said Friday in an interview after his announcement.

"The one thing I know about Minnesota politics, there are going to be a lot of twists and turns over the next year and a half. I just think this is far too early."

Gutknecht's decision to withhold his endorsement surprised some party insiders, who had expected him to get behind Kennedy if he decided not to run himself.

"As I heard it, that was the plan," said Minnesota GOP chairman Ron Eibensteiner.

It also captures Gutknecht in some speculation one can only hope sounded a bit better in full context:

"This whole thing can change in a moment," Gutknecht said. "Who knows -- (Vice President) Dick Cheney, his pacemaker may give out next week."

Gutknecht also made reference to the untimely death of Sen. Paul Wellstone and the largely unforeseen election of Gov. Jesse Ventura.

"Who knows what can happen in this business?" he said.

Both articles also give mention to Gutknecht breaking a previous pledge to serve in his seat for no more than twelve years.

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