Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Bench

Well, we were barely in the first inning and we are already looking for a long reliever. The DFL bench is large but how deep is it. That will depend on your own personal perception.

There are a lot of quality candidates, from the progressive, the moderate, and the converted. I loved the Sara Janecek quote in this AM's STRIB.
My office manager joked that at least 100 more people are going to bed tonight with U. S. Senate dreams"
Following is a list of names that I have culled from various sources. I have broken them down into three categories; Probably, Maybe, and Probably not. If you have specific information on which column these candidates should be in, please E-Mail me with your information and source (anokaflash -AT- gmail dot com). If I missed anyone you think deserves a mention, let me know as well.


County Attorney Amy Klobuchar -- ``If I can make a difference, I'll do it,'' she said. ``So I'm seriously considering it.'' UPDATE 2/23/05:Amy Klobuchar announces she will file candidacy papers with the FEC.

Patty Wetterling -- Patty's first run for political office was against Mark Kennedy last year, the St. Cloud Times reports she is considering her options "I was very surprised to hear the news today about Senator Dayton, and I will process the information and decide how it affects my plans for the future," UPDATE 2/25/05: Wetterling forms Exploratory Committee


Michael Ciresi -- On Wednesday, Ciresi said he will "very seriously consider" a run. He was a contender in the 2000 race

Jerry Janezich -- The winner of the DFL endorsement in 2000 is mulling over another shot. From the Mesabi Daily News -- "I'm interested. I will be having discussions with family and friends for sure to see what they think,?"

State Senator Steve Kelley (D-Hopkins) -- A state senator from Hopkins. Played a roll in grabbing some of those GOP seats in the last election.

State Rep. Tom Rukavina (D-Virginia) -- From the Duluth News Tribune ""On Wednesday, a handful of DFL lawmakers, including those from the Iron Range, were already sporting campaign buttons reading, "Tom Rukavina U.S. Senate 2006.""" The rest of the article sure has him talking like a candidate. He does come with some baggage, a 2004 DUI conviction. UPDATE 4/1/05: Second thoughts, maybe?!?


Kurt Schiebel -- With absolutely no experience in running for office, and skeletons that would make the GOP glee with joy, it is amazing his name even pops up on this list. A clear vanity candidate who wanted nothing more then to see his name along side this respectable group of public servants. I will He will make an announcement soon, and no one will notice.

Rebecca Yanisch -- Another 2000 Senate candidate who, when asked, would not rule out a potential candidacy

Probably Not

Judi Dutcher -- another moderate choice who came over from the GOP and would have likely attracted a lot of moderate voters.

Matt Entenza -- State House Minority Leader said Wednesday that he's not interested. He has his eye Attorney General

DFL Chairman Mike Erlandson - He's been showing up on some lists. I am reluctant to put him on the Maybe list, but will give him a slot for now. UPDATE 3/8/05:DFL Chair Mike Erlandson, who had been considering a candidacy, said Monday that he would not run. He said that with two young children and his duties as party chair through the end of his term in May, this was not the year to run.

Al Franken - is teasing and will be making some type of announcement today (Thursday). UPDATE: Fortunately, Al just announced he will sit this one out!

Mike Hatch -- State Attorney General. He has his sites set on Pawlenty and made it pretty clear yesterday he was going to stay out of the 06 Senate fray.

Buck Humphrey -- ``Now it's a wide-open game on our side for sure,'' said Buck Humphrey, a leading party activist who says he's not interested in running himself. Buck is now hedging in a KSTP article this AM. I still say he's on the probably not list. UPDATE: " ``I don't think it works on a political level or, most importantly, on a family level,'' he said." So he was out, the in now out . . . I wonder what will happen next week.

Skip Humphrey -- I doubt Skip would make the run. There are a lot of competent and qualified candidates out there. He had his chance.

State Sen. Dean Johnson (D-Wilmar) -- Current Senate Majority leader. A former Republican who switched parties in 2000 has stated it would be awhile before he decides, adding that competition is deep. UPDATE2/27/05: Sen Johnson stated in an interview on Wilmar's KWLM-AM that he is "99 percent sure" that he won't run in 2006 for the vacant US Senate seat.

Dave Lillehaug -- The US Attorney who has had aspirations in the past has said he is not interested.

Bill Luther -- multi term Congressman from the 6th (purple) district. He is my dream candidate with a strong progressive background, moderate voting record, and fundraising prowess that any of these other candidates would love. I contacted Bill yesterday. Although he is just getting used to life on the outside, he is going to think about it over the next few days and see how things shake out. He's not in, but he won't rule it out either.

Rep. Betty McCollum -- 4th District, encompassing most of St. Paul. "I'm not in, I'm not out ... . In other words, I'm exploring every option that's out there."" UPDATE 3/8/05:"After much personal reflection I have decided to continue serving my Fourth District constituents and fighting for Minnesota families in Congress,"

Roger Moe -- Former Senate Majority Leader, lost to Pawlenty in the Governor's race. He all but retired from public office in his concession speech, and with the dearth of other candidates, I would highly doubt his emergence into this race

Ted Mondale -- Son of the former VP and Minnesota Senator. He may be a dark horse candidate, but not likely to actively pursue the endorsement.

Walter Mondale -- He took his one shot and made it clear in his concession speech, that that was it! There's a big difference between a blitzkrieg campaign, and a 2 year artillery barrage UPDATE 2/13/05Mondale flatly ruled out another race. "It's time for new faces," the 77-year-old Minnesota icon said.

Vance Opperman -- attorney and investor.

Alan Page -- Longtime Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and member of the infamous Minnesota defensive line known as the Purple People Eaters. That moniker may take on a whole new meaning if he accepts the nod. An early favorite for many considering his name recognition and strong statewide support. However, the PiPress states he is not interested

Tim Penny -- former DFL Congressman and independent 2002 gubernatorial candidate will NOT run, citing his wife's health problems

Collin Peterson -- Multi term Congressman in a Red northwestern district of the state. He would have broad statewide appeal, but would have an issue with the party faithful during the endorsement process. In an article in the Grand Forks Herald this morning, Peterson shared kind words about Dayton, but did not hint at an interest in the seat. I'd be very surprised if he gave up a very comfortable House seat for a dart toss at the Senate UPDATE:""No, unless somebody walked up to me and gave me a $15 million check, then I might think about it," he said, referring to the cost of a statewide race. "I think I'm in a position now where I can do a lot more for my district, and my state actually, than I could starting over in the Senate.""

James "Jesse Ventura" Janos -- Ventura is not running, said former spokesman John Wodele

Mark Rotenberg -- a lawyer for the University of Minnesota, a newcomer, said Wednesday he was very likely to run. Rotenberg was involved in Joe Lieberman's Minnesota effort. UPDATE 3/8/05: - "University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg announced Monday that he is forming a Senate exploratory committee to further investigate the vacant seat in the 2006 U.S. Senate." UPDATE:4/4/05""The mountain of money necessary to deliver my message is daunting, and I would rather spend my time working on the issues rather than be consumed with the full-time task of fundraising," he said in a written statement."

Wellstone Brothers, Mark and David -- Until I hear otherwise, they have moved to California and are working hard for Wellstone Action. When their father died, they had expressed no interest in a run for public office. I would be surprised if they have changed their mind. (UPDATE-My source confirms that Mark is not interested, and he is 99% sure Dave feels the same way)

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Jeff, the List King, at the BotML handicaps the race here.

Information cultivated from From here and here along with other various sources.


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