January 24, 2005


Lining up to run against Dayton (Rob Hotakainen, January 22, 2005, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Sen. Mark Dayton's job is suddenly getting very popular.

On Thursday, Rep. Gil Gutknecht, R-Minn., said that he's considering a run against the Minnesota Democrat in 2006. Gutknecht made the move as his colleague, GOP Rep. Mark Kennedy, continues to ponder his possible candidacy.

With the election more than 21 months away, there's plenty of time for other Republican candidates to surface. Among the names most often discussed: Gov. Tim Pawlenty (who says he's not interested), Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, former gubernatorial candidate Brian Sullivan and former Rep. Vin Weber.

Even without an announced opponent, there are signs that Dayton is facing a political challenge in 2006.

Of the 18 Democratic Senate incumbents whose terms expire at the end of next year, Dayton is considered the weakest, and his race is the only Democratic contest ranked as a toss-up, according to the Cook Political Report, which handicaps congressional races.

"I think almost anybody can make a race against Dayton," said Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes Senate races for the Cook report. "He's got his share of issues, not the least of which is money."

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 24, 2005 1:10 PM

Oh, he's got issues - and money's not the one to jump out first.

Posted by: JP at January 24, 2005 3:04 PM

How can someone be too liberal for the state that gave us Paul Wellstone twice and, had it not been for good luck, probably 3 times? Pol Pot isn't too far to the Left for such a place.

Posted by: Bart at January 24, 2005 3:59 PM

Wellstone was going to lose.

Posted by: oj at January 24, 2005 7:42 PM