Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Kurt Zellers unveiled a slate of new legislative endorsements Thursday, gaining the support of 16 current and former Republican legislators.
“He is the only candidate for governor who has succeeded in advancing Republican principles on high-stakes issues,” said state Rep. Tara Mack, R-Apple Valley. “As Speaker of the House, Kurt made Governor Dayton and the liberal special interest groups surrender on the state budget, and he is the best candidate to defeat Mark Dayton this fall.”
Zellers is among four GOP candidates vying to take on DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, who is seeking a second term. Zellers’ gubernatorial rivals include Orono businessman Scott Honour, former state Rep. Marty Seifert and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, who is the GOP endorsed candidate.
All four will face off in the Aug. 12 GOP primary, where voters will decide which one will challenge Dayton.
Here is the list of Zellers’ new endorsements:
Rep. Tony Albright, R-Prior Lake
Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Lake Shore
Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston
Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville
Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska
Rep. Jeff Howe, R-Rockville
Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing
Rep. Tara Mack, R-Apple Valley
Rep. John Petersburg, R-Owatonna
Rep. Tim Sanders, R-Blaine
Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River
Former Rep. Roger Crawford, R-Mora
Former Rep. Paul Kohls, R-Victoria
Former Rep. Doug Lindgren, R-Bagley
Former Rep. Mark Murdock, R-Ottertail
Former Rep. Jim Rhodes, R-St. Louis Park
Democratic U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar are co-sponsoring a bill that would override the Supreme Court's decision last week in the Hobby Lobby case.
The bill would ban employers from refusing to provide any health coverage, including contraceptives, guaranteed under the federal Affordable Care Act.
In a split decision, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held corporations did not have to provide coverage under the new federal health care laws if doing so would violate the owner's religious beliefs. The case was filed by Hobby Lobby, whose owners specifically objected to the requirement that companies provide coverage for emergency contraceptives.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington is the lead author on the legislation, which is still being drafted. If the Senate passes the bill, it would face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled House.
Women's rights are shaping up as a pivotal issue in U.S. Senate races across the country.
Franken has been critical of the Supreme Court’s decision since it was issued.
“The Supreme Court made a terrible decision when it decided that a woman’s boss can make health care decisions for her,” Franken said in a statement. “Those choices should be between a woman and her doctor, plain and simple. The Court’s ruling will deny women access to the health care services they need, and that’s why we have to pass this important legislative fix.”
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a group backing Democratic candidates, is pressuring one of Franken’s Republican rivals, businessman Mike McFadden, to discuss his stance on the case. The Minnesota DFL has also targeted McFadden on the issue.
Allison Sherry and Rachel E. Stassen-Berger
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden’s first broadcast ad, said to be in the six figures, blossomed into what some are dubbing “groin gate” in social media circles Monday.
The ad features McFadden coaching young boys football. One of the boys says, “Now Coach McFadden is the one running.” Another says, “Spending has to be stopped” and “Obamacare needs to be sacked.”
Then, McFadden shouts to the junior huddle, “Let’s go out and hit somebody!” and a little boy apparently goes for McFadden in a tackle and hits him below the waist. McFadden’s voice screeches up about six notches and he concludes the ad with “I’m Mike McFadden and I approve this message” all in the high-pitched voice.
The ad sparked chatter on Twitter Monday that it employed a hit to the groin in the first major ad buy of the campaign. (Notably: McFadden shares a media consultant with Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst, who won attention for featuring pig castration in an ad.)
The McFadden campaign spokesman Tom Erickson, however, denied the below-the-belt hit:
Erickson explained on Twitter that McFadden's high pitch post-hit, which led some to believe the hit was to the groin, happened because the wind was knocked out of him.
The candidate himself said he suffered for the ad:
.@RachelSB Thanks for your concern about my well-being. I do all my own stunts!— Mike McFadden (@MikeForMN) July 7, 2014
The football kids in the ad are real children from the Mendota Heights Youth Athletic Association, Erickson said.
McFadden hopes to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Al Franken in November. Franken has spent more than $1.4 million on television so far in four ads. McFadden has had two other smaller ads, but this is his debut on broadcast television and the “Coach” ad is running in the Twin Cities, Duluth, Rochester, Fargo-Moorhead and Mankato.
The ad will run on four stations, campaign officials said, though early Federal Communications Commission filings show about $40,000 worth of spending on KMSP and KSTP.
Here's the ad:
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Abeler told supporters Monday that he had picked up the support of former Gov. Al Quie in his primary run against better funded Senate candidate Mike McFadden.
"Jim continues to connect with the people all across Minnesota," Abeler said in an email.
In the missive, Abeler notes that rival McFadden has cash and established support on his side. McFadden won the the GOP endorsement to vie against Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken in May and has raised almost $3 million to Abeler's $112,000, as of their last reports.
But Abeler told supporters he sees 'shades of" the Virginia House race that saw U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's surprise upset to little funded upstart David Brat last month in Minnesota.
"Simply spending a lot of money does not assure a good outcome," Abeler said. "Wasted money in one campaign does mean that other campaigns, such as critical MN House seats or the governor's race risk becoming underfunded because of unnecessary resource drain."
Last month, Quie endorsed former House Rep. Marty Seifert in the governor's office. Seifert, like Abeler, is challenging the Republican party's endorsed candidate in the August primary. Four years ago, Quie, who served in the U.S. House from 1958 to 1978 and was governor from 1979 to 1983, endorsed Seifert and then Independence Party's Tom Horner for governor. The Horner backing got him banned from Republican Party activities for two years.
Photo: Jim Abeler and Al Quie//source: Jim Abeler for U.S. Senate campaign
WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sen. Al Franken and his GOP rival Mike McFadden are both decamped in the critical 8th Congressional District this holiday weekend riding Independence Day parade routes.
McFadden is fishing with four of his sons today on the Lake of the Woods in Baudette. On Friday, McFadden will walk in both the Delano and Walker Fourth of July parades and stop for lunch at the Old Creamery Cafe in Rice, where he will talk to voters "about what their frustration with Washington and what they're looking for in a U.S. Senator," campaign officials said.
Franken will walk parades in Aurora and Gilbert tonight and tomorrow will walk in the Eveleth, Tower, Ely and Biwabik parades, staffers said.
Both sides see the 8th CD as critical to a victory in November. It's known to be a swing district and subject to the whims of the national mood.
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