State Sen. Julianne Ortman, who has prepared for months for a U.S. Senate run, is expected to take the leap on Saturday.

She would the third Republican with announced plans to vie to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken. Former Lazard Middle Market executive Mike McFadden and state Rep. Jim Abeler have been in the race all summer.

Ortman sent out a release about her Saturday plans late Wednesday.

So far, the Franken challengers have left national prognosicators underwhelmed. Franken has a national reputation and polling numbers that show him in decent standing with Minnesotans. But he only won his first election by 312 votes and voters these days are frustrated with Washington.

Ortman, of Chanhassen, plans to make her political announcement at a Waconia city park on Saturday morning. 

Andy Parrish, who worked with U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann on her congressional and presidential campaigns through early 2012, is advising Ortman and sent out the media notice about her Saturday announcement.

"If she decides to run, I would hope I would have a role in it," Parrish said.

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