GOP Battle Likely for Minnesota Senate Race

Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013 02:40 PM

By John Gizzi

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After months of disappointment among Minnesota Republicans that there was no substantive contender emerging to take on Democratic Sen. Al Franken in 2014, there may actually be a hotly fought nomination contest between two strong GOP candidates.

A few weeks after Minneapolis multi-millionaire businessman Mike McFadden signaled he would seek the Senate nod, state Sen. Julianne Ortman is also sending out signals that she too would like to take a crack at Franken.

An attorney and former Carver County commissioner, Ortman is a past chairman of the Senate Taxes Committee. In that capacity, she was a spirited opponent of tax increases proposed by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton in 2011. With Republicans holding a majority in the Senate at the time, Dayton's tax increase plan was thwarted.

Ortman said she will make a decision on the race shortly. Franken is considered a particular Republican target because of the nature of his defeat of then-Sen. Norm Coleman in 2008. In the closest Senate race that year, Franken lost the election night count and recount but was eventually declared the winner by the Democratic Secretary of State after another recount put him ahead of Coleman.

The recount procedure eventually took eight months to sort out with the state Supreme Court finally deciding in June 2009 that Franken had won by just 312 votes out of 2.9 million cast, a margin of 0.01 percent.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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