The congressional campaigns of Republicans Stewart Mills III and Torrey Westrom are picking up more national attention.
An ABC News piece on the five “most interesting” 2014 GOP U.S. House candidates features Mills, labeled the “Republican Brad Pitt,” and Westrom, whom the piece dubbed “the sightless [state] senator who’s never lost an election.”
Mills is challenging Democrat Rick Nolan in the Eighth District and Westrom faces Democrat Collin Peterson in the Seventh District.
Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call ran a story on the Westrom-Peterson race Tuesday suggesting this could be the toughest re-election race yet for Peterson, who’s seeking a 13th term in Congress.
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U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison supports a Congressional Black Caucus letter urging the Justice Department to conduct a complete, stand-alone investigation of the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo.
The caucus signed sent a letter to Attorney General Eric. H. Holder Jr., that expressed gratitude for the Justice Department investigation already underway regarding the incident, in which a Ferguson policeman shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Police have said the teen tried to take an officer’s gun, but at least one witness said the teen was shot without cause.
“Press reports suggest that Mr. Brown’s shooting may be symptomatic of larger racial tensions in Ferguson,” the letter to Holder read.
“We ask the Department to dedicate sufficient resources to investigate the legal and civil rights ramifications of the shooting and surrounding circumstances,” the letter writers said.
"First, the St. Louis County Police Department may not be the most objective or credible body to investigate civil rights matters involving law enforcement given evidence of racial profiling in the past year,” they continued. “Second, only the federal government has the resources, the experience, and the independence to give this case the close scrutiny that the citizens of Ferguson and the greater St. Louis area deserve.”
Ellison used his Twitter account earlier this week to call for a “full, transparent investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown” and added that “Thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Former Democratic state Rep. Mike Obermueller will get another shot at unseating Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline, who defeated him in a closer-than-expected race in 2012.
Obermueller handily defeated opponent Michael Roberts, an Army veteran and Hamline University Law School student, in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.
Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, is seeking a seventh term in Congress representing the Second District, which covers the suburbs south of the Twin Cities.
Paula Overby is the Independence Party candidate in the race.
Businessman Jim Hagedorn ousted Army veteran Aaron Miller, the Republican Party-endorsed candidate, in the First Congressional District’s Republican primary.
After failing to win the party endorsement and bowing out, Hagedorn re-entered the race in May “at the urging of quite a few people inside the Republican Party,” who felt that Miller wasn’t devoting enough time to the campaign, Hagedorn said.
“They felt that [Miller’s campaign] wasn’t strong enough to beat an incumbent congressman,” Hagedorn said.
Hagedorn – whose father once represented southern Minnesota in Congress -- now faces Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, who is seeking a fifth term in the House.
The National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Republicans’ campaign arm, had pegged Miller as an up-and-coming candidate in the race against Walz.
The First District covers southern Minnesota.
Tom Emmer’s victory in the Sixth Congressional District Republican primary Tuesday brings him a step closer to becoming the successor to retiring U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.
The former state representative and conservative radio host handily defeated Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah, capturing more than 70 percent of the vote.
Sivarajah stuck with her campaign even after Emmer secured the party nomination and Bachmann’s backing.
Emmer will be the favorite against Democrat Joe Perske and Independence Party candidate John Denney in November to represent the Sixth District, which includes the suburbs and exurbs north of the Twin Cities all the way to St. Cloud.
For Emmer, the race offers an opportunity to resume an ascending political career that stalled after his loss to Democrat Mark Dayton in the 2010 governor’s race.
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