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GOP Businessman To Challenge Minn.’s Franken

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican Mike McFadden, a political newcomer with a business background already being dissected, declared his candidacy Wednesday for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Minnesota Democrat Al Franken.

McFadden’s campaign launch came in a three-minute Web video that describes his Minnesota roots and his concern “about the direction this country is headed.” The timing was far from ideal, with much of the state’s political attention focused on the retirement announcement of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

But McFadden had filed formal paperwork to form a campaign fundraising committee, so he went ahead with his planned kickoff. He is Franken’s first announced GOP opponent with several well-known Republicans taking themselves out of the running.

McFadden, 48, runs a financial management firm with expertise in mergers and acquisitions. He plans to take a leave of absence from Lazard Middle Market in Minneapolis during his campaign. But Democrats and their allied groups have said for weeks that they intend to focus on mergers and acquisitions on his watch that led to job losses.

“As a father and a husband, I am worried that our generation is handing over a country to our children that is in worse shape than the one we inherited, and that is unacceptable,” McFadden said in a press release that accompanied the video. “I have seen what we can do when we set our expectations high, we can truly accomplish great things.”

In his video, McFadden’s daughter, Molly, opens with her starting to introduce “my dad, not the business guy, the real guy.”

Franken intends to seek another six-year term after winning the last one by a whisker following a recount and court fight. His campaign account had $2 million at the ready as of mid-April.

Minnesota’s seat is part of the larger tussle for Senate control. To take the Senate majority away from Democrats, Republicans need to gain six seats. Twenty-one seats held by Democrats are at stake while Republicans are defending 13 of theirs.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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