DFL chair Ken Martin minced no words Wednesday when speaking about Matt Entenza's failed bid for state auditor against the party's endorsed candidate and incumbent, Rebecca Otto.
Entenza first irked party officials when he filed a last-minute challenge to Otto. The former lawmaker spent nearly $700,000 of his own money in an effort to unseat her, making it the most expensive auditor's race in the state's history.
"The reason Matt Entenza lost -- and I think this should be a wakeup call to candidates like Mike McFadden – look what happened yesterday with two candidates, Scott Honour and Matt Entenza, who tried to buy the election," Martin said in a post-primary press conference.
Honour, a political newcomer and business executive, loaned his campaign about $900,000 and finished fourth in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson prevailed as the GOP's pick to face DFL Gov. Mark Dayton this fall. McFadden, an investment banker from Sunfish Lake, is now the Republicans' pick to face DFL Sen. Al Franken this fall.
A request for comment left with an Entenza campaign official was not immediately returned Wednesday.
Martin said he was angry with Entenza because the race turned negative and diverted the party's time and money to defend the typically low-key post of state auditor.
Entenza's challenge was "personal because he took on the party in a way that he didn’t have to. If he cared about our fortunes this fall, about Mark Dayton and Sen. Franken and the rest of our ticket, he wouldn't have foisted this primary upon us and had us waste a lot of resources that we could have used in the general election."
Photo by Star Tribune photographer Glen Stubbe.
An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Honour finished third in the Republican primary. He finished fourth.