Riches redistributed (UPDATE: Debate cancelled)
While attending a debate amongst the MN GOP Senate candidates this past Thursday, I remarked how we Republicans had an "embarrassment of riches" when it came to the three main candidates. Add to the fact that Pete Hegseth will formally announce his candidacy this week, it merely enhances the wealth.
But then I learned this morning that two of the now four main candidates are abandoning their respective bids to oppose Sen. Amy Klobuchar this November.
First, a statement from candidate Anthony Hernandez's Facebook page:
Hello, I tried to talk to as many of you as possible this weekend over the phone. After careful consideration, I have concluded I will best serve the movement by challenging long-term incumbent Rep. Betty McCollum in Minnesota's 4th Congressional District. Consequently, I am announcing today my departure from the race for U.S. Senate. I wish my fellow Republicans Doc Severson and Capt. Pete Hegseth the very best as they move forward in the endorsement process. We are hosting an event tomorrow (Tues) from 6-8 pm at Fabulous Ferns, Hope you can make it!
With Dan Flood already having declared he will seek the GOP endorsement in CD4, it's definitely an advantage for the eventual Republican candidate to have been battle tested when trying to overcome a six-term incumbent Democrat. And since redistricting has brought in areas like Stillwater and Woodbury into play, McCollum can no longer bank on the fact that 70% of the vote in the city of St. Paul will be more than enough to put her over the top. Another layer to this is the pairing of GOP State Senators Ted Lillie (Lake Elmo) and Ray Vandeveer (Forest Lake) in the new SD39. Lillie has indicated he's keeping his options open, including the possibility of throwing his hat into ring that is CD4.
My how times have changed. It used to border on harassment to coax someone to run as the Republican candidate in Minnesota's Fourth Congressional District. But the prospect of having possibly three viable candidates seek the GOP endorsement? Again, not a bad thing!
In my view, St. Bonifacius resident Joe Arwood was one of the more under appreciated candidates for Minnesota's GOP nomination for Senate. Armed with astute knowledge of the US Constitution as well as a common sense businessman's approach, Arwood seemed to be garnering solid grassroots support. But after talking to him this afternoon, I learned that he just didn't have enough "boots on the ground" to muster a serious challenge in a statewide race. However, I also ascertained that we likely haven't seen the last of Arwood in Minnesota politics. His state representative, Connie Doepke, has already indicated she will seek the Senate seat in the new SD33 (it is being vacated by the retiring Gen Olson). As such, Arwood did not rule out vying for state rep in the new HD33A. But in whatever capacity he serves, the Minnesota political scene will be the better for it.
So now that the dust has settled, I feel we still have two solid US Senate candidates remaining in Hegseth and Dan "Doc" Severson.
And now, since there are two military vets vying for the GOP's US Senate endorsement, I feel it's only appropriate to say "FULL SPEED AHEAD!"