Afghanistan war veteran Pete Hegseth might be a newcomer to electoral politics, but he could be one of the Republicans’ best hopes of mounting a meaningful challenge to first-term U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who faces reelection this year.
Klobuchar, polling well in Minnesota after five controversy-free years in Washington, has not inspired much in the way of marquee GOP opposition so far.
That’s prompted something of a GOP draft movement for Hegseth, an articulate, Princeton-educated soldier from Forest Lake who just returned from Afghanistan, where he was a U.S. Army captain and counterinsurgency instructor. Well-known in conservative circles, Hegseth also maintained his own newsletter while he was deployed.
Hegseth is certainly no stranger to war or politics. He was named a Center of the American Experiment senior fellow last year and was one of the leaders of Vets for Freedom, a group that supported former President George W. Bush’s war aims in Iraq, where Hegseth served in 2005 and 2006.
In a message to supporters Tuesday, Hegseth let it be known that he is “considering a run” for the U.S. Senate this year. He thanked those who began the draft movement for Senate and promised to make a decision “very soon.” Meanwhile, he has made it sound very much like he’s in by encouraging backers to visit “Draft Pete” sites on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
If he runs, he’ll have some catching up to do with Klobuchar, who in her year-end campaign finance reports listed $4.6 million in cash on hand.
More from Star Tribune
More From Hot Dish Politics
Minnesota state budget is settled, but Dayton extends political battle with lawmakers -- with likely legal consequences.
The Star Tribune's morning political newsletter
As President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey continues to rock the Capitol, Sen. Amy Klobuchar anticipates the Senate Judiciary Committee will play an important role in the aftermath.
Rep. Erik Paulsen called for an independent investigation into Russia's interference in the presidential election following President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, going further than many GOP lawmakers in the aftermath of a move that has roiled the Capitol over the last day.
The attack ads are already starting against House Republicans who approved the controversial healthcare overhaul last week.