What first appeared to be a slam-dunk for Minneapolis businessman Mike McFadden when he entered the Republican U.S. Senate primary three weeks ago is quickly evolving into a political free-for-all.
Veteran state Rep. Jim Abeler announced last week that he is also entering the race for the nomination to oppose Democratic Sen. Al Franken. The announcement by 59-year-old Abeler came days after state Sen. Julianne Ortman said she was considering the GOP race as well.
Although considered a conservative and a strong Christian, Abeler is hard to pin down philosophically.
Last year, he endorsed Ron Paul for president but also had the endorsement for re-election of the Minnesota teachers' union. He also sided with Democrats in the Legislature in 2008 to override then-Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto of a tax increase.
Republicans in the North Star State last won a statewide race in 2006, when Pawlenty was narrowly re-elected as governor.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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