Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has apparently not yet decided if he’s going to run for the U.S. Senate.
The Washington Post on Sunday quoted a prominent GOP donor as saying rumors that he would jump into the race are unfounded. “He’s told me unequivocally he’s not going to run for the Senate,” the donor told the Post.
A Minnesota GOP insider who is close to Pawlenty confirmed to the Star Tribune Sunday that Pawlenty did indeed make that comment at a meeting two weeks ago. But the source told the Star Tribune that it’s possible Pawlenty has reconsidered since then. The source was not sure where Pawlenty stands now.
Pawlenty is also known to be considering another run for governor, and that prospect remains on the table. He did not respond to requests for comment Sunday.
The seat is now held by former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith. Gov. Mark Dayton appointed her to the seat after Al Franken resigned Jan. 2 amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
The seat will be up for grabs in a special election in November. So far, no Democrats have emerged to challenge Smith for the party’s nod. It’s not yet clear which Republicans will challenge her. State Sen. Karin Housley has launched a campaign. Former Rep. Michele Bachmann says she’s considering a run. Top Republicans wanted Pawlenty to get in the race.
WASHINGTON POST AND STAFF REPORT