ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Two Minnesota Republicans who ran on the party’s statewide ticket last fall emerged Tuesday as possible candidates in a 2012 U.S. Senate campaign that so far lacks any declared GOP candidates.

The party’s nominees for attorney general and secretary of state are considering taking on Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who cruised to victory in 2006.

Lawyer Chris Barden told The Associated Press that he has been approached by several people about running after an unsuccessful bid for attorney general and is weighing the prospect. He gave no timetable for a decision.

“It’s something that every citizen if asked to ponder something like this would take it seriously,” Barden said, adding, “The fact is people have asked me and I’m thinking but it’s nothing more than that.”

Dan Severson, who lost his secretary of state race, is “seriously considering” entering the race and will decide sometime in May, said Kent Kaiser, a political adviser to Severson.

In contrast to recent Senate races in Minnesota, the 2012 race has been slow to take shape. Several big-name Republicans have ruled out campaigns.

GOP operatives acknowledge Klobuchar will be tough to beat. She won her first term in a 20-point blowout, her approval rating remains steady and she has cultivated a middle-of-the-road reputation. Plus, she has a $2.5 million stockpile even though her fundraising efforts for re-election haven’t really ramped up yet.

There will be 33 Senate seats will be on the line next November, including 23 now held by majority Democrats or independents aligned with them. For now, the Minnesota race isn’t attracting much attention from national parties despite the state’s reputation as being competitive.

Barden was new to politics when he emerged last April to run against Democratic Attorney General Lori Swanson. It gave Barden statewide exposure, but he suffered a double-digit loss after running a low-budget campaign.

The new federal health law and efforts to block it were central to Barden’s campaign and could loom large in next year’s election.

Barden said he took six months away from his law practice for last year’s run and expects a Senate run would involve an even greater time commitment.

Severson was a fourth-term Minnesota House member when he ran against Secretary of State Mark Ritchie for the top state elections job. Ritchie won by about 3.5 percentage points.

In January, Severson helped form the Minnesota Organization of Republican Veterans, which has a mission of recruiting and electing military veterans. Severson has testified on behalf of legislation that would require voters to show a government-issued photo ID card before getting a ballot.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (18)
  1. Brerwster says:

    I see the Right wing NUTS are out tonight!

    1. Mike says:

      Rusty Shackelturd is really Michelle Bachmann!

    2. GN says:

      Brerwster, you must be union or another chronic welfare bum!

      1. GOP voter .... usually says:

        I’m not GN, actually run 2 small businesses and contribute to the RNC.
        That stated I will be voting for Amy again
        She has integrity, honest and open and willing to change/adjust her position if it makes sense, and in no way represents the mud slingers that todays politicians have become.
        The GOP will be extremely hard pressed to unseat her for these reasons and the fact they today have no viable person to oppose her.

  2. Junie says:

    It is rare to have a politician that is middle of the road. Why then did Amy choose the democrat party? Which part of it really appealled to her? This would be a good question to ask of her. Because I’m a republican, I find these statements that a democrat is middle of the road unbelievable. I certainly would vote for her if she had a consistent record on mainly being conservative but perhaps had some other ideas – wait a minute, I can’t honestly think of an issue that democrats would have the moral or belief system that I do. Crime may be one. That leaves taxes(distributing the wealth mentality), healthcare for everyone(no matter the cost to the 53% that are supporting it), and war. I’m not for war but do believe there are those causes out there that need intervention when there is utter chaos going on, or a direct threat to our nation.

    1. Dev Lopper says:

      Junie, anyone that calls a democrat the middle of the read should have their voting rights taken away for being stupid. They are the propblem with this country today.

      1. kidding me Dev says:

        and anyone that calls a republican anything but a arrogant self rightous POS has had their right to vote sensibly stripped from their tiny brain washed mind.
        That’s why they should live in the south and from there they can create their confederacy of bs and hate and go to war. again. and lose again. for the last time.

      2. Matt says:

        I agree, look at Social Security (FDR), Medicare/Medicaid (LBJ), Great Society ect, they were all put in place by big government liberals that feel government is the answer, not the problem itself.

        If it wasn’t for the liberal entitlement mentality we wouldn’t have the financial issues we have today. Unfortunately somewhere in time middle of the road became someone who wants a lot of government, just not total control by the government.

        That being said Klobuchar is another hack party line trial lawyer liberal who has added no value in the Senate. Unfortunately the two names parties above have little to no chance of unseating her.

  3. Dev Lopper says:

    Rusty, you must not get out very much.

  4. mid ground voter says:

    Many of the comments made above are so plain silly and biased it’s no wonder we have problems in this country.
    I’m a middle of the road republican voter and can’t seem to vote that many republicans for a host of reasons. And the same holds true to the dem’s – usually I listen for a few minutes and then they get flipped off the channel or station.
    I have yet to vote for Klobuchar. That likely will change as she’s a relative moderate (for dem), well schooled on facts and someone whom one can work with. Without bi-partisan efforts we may as well call it a day and shut down the government.
    Not seeing much of that working together for maybe 10-12 years, no one has. Is it any wonder things have fallen apart? nope

    1. Matt says:

      She has voted party line on every issue, she’s about as middle of the road as Nancy Pelosi. The only thing I’ll give her credit for is keeping her mouth shut and not being an annoyance.

  5. Rusty Shackelford says:

    If you voted for Klobuchar, Franken or Obama, you are NOT a middle of the road voter, trust me. You are an easily swayed liberal fool, but you can call yourselves whatever you want.

  6. GOP hoe down says:

    Hey ya’ll — all ya need to do is read Rusty, Matt, and Dev’s far right take no prisoners, compromise on nothing and spit your venom verbage above and ya’ll can see why the Rep’s are about to fall on their own land mines.
    Gotta luv the hate they got inside them as it’s the undoing of the party in general. The Tea Pee’ers know it too and will further toss fuel on the fire.
    100 years from now historians will look back at the GOP and say it all fell apart right here and now. LMFAO at the crazy right

    1. Matt says:

      It’s funny how the left talk about hate, when it’s you calling people names and talking about the Tea Pee’ers and the crazy right. When did I say anything about a crazy liberal?

      Additionally, I why does everyone in your camp can bury your head in the sand and ignore what is going on. There aren’t enough rich out there to support the economy there have to be cuts and there really isn’t much room for compromise on the issue.

      The only fair government is a limited government especially at a federal level, there is no reason that we should have the massive federal social programs that we have. If the State of Minnesota wants to enact our own version of SS so be it, I can vote with me feet and leave. If the federal government does it, where am I to go?

      Please if you want to call names and talk about the GOP falling apart at least talk about an issue rather than your liberal hate speech.

      1. Patriot says:

        I take it from your comment, Matt, that you won’t be applying for social security or Medicare when you retire? And, hopefully, you won’t ever need any workers compensation, either. And, when you’re ready to retire, stay true to your values and just don’t file for anything–leave the money for the rest of us who paid in all our lives and expect that it will be there.

  7. Chris says:


    Some of your posts have been somewhat over the top…

    Therefore, some probably should be censored as inappropriate.

    As a republican, we really do not need you on our side.

    Thanks anyway.

  8. Lisa Gonyea says:

    I see so much GOP bashing…it is sad…now lets think, did the GOP nominate a candidate for the most powerful position in the world whose only credentials were Community Organizer, and whose records are totally unavailable to anyone (school, actual birth certificate)..yes, I believe he was born in HI, so why all the secrecy…and yes we cannot forget Al Franken. As to Amy Klobuchar…she is not crazy lefty, but her policies are still all on the Left..she is not in the center with anything.

    1. Grandpa thinks says:

      Well Lisa – it sure does flow both ways.
      I guess we all drink one form of kool aid or the other. Thats what makes America great – we can disagree usually without getting shot or jailed.
      That said I can see the day coming where the party in power may push it to that point if everyone doesn’t get a grip on things and themselves.
      That’s be sad – imagine those in Iraq and Iran saying ….”hehe – look at that. And they said we had problems. lol”
      As far as the comment regarding nominating a candidate Lisa – I think that’s were they out-foxed the GOP. They avoided the candidates that battled controversy and had a fairly open and uneventful past. The GOP blew the golden opportunity IMO.
      2012 will again be interesting without a doubt

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