By Esme Murphy


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Jason Lewis, who served as U.S. representative for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District for one term before being defeated by Rep. Angie Craig in 2018, has announced his intentions to run against Sen. Tina Smith.

He announced his campaign at the Minnesota State Fair Thursday morning, which was met with cheers at the Republican Party booth.

He is a strong supporter of President Donald Trump, and has strong name recognition from his years on Twin Cities radio as a conservative talk show host.

Tina Smith won a surprisingly easy win over Minnesota Sen. Karen Housley last November, winning by 11 percentage points. Smith won the seat vacated by Al Franken after he resigned following accusations of sexual harassment.

Lewis sought to link Smith to Rep. Ilhan Omar and the three other freshmen Democrats known as “The Squad.”

“I am here to tell you the state of Minnesota is not interested in following The Squad off the rails, they are interested in keeping prosperity going, keeping our Constitution intact and making certain all you have a future,” Lewis said.

Smith is not as progressive on many issues as Omar, but its clear that is what Lewis is going to be talking about during this campaign. And he made it very clear he is going to work very hard for a large turnout in Minnesota’s Iron Range, which in the last presidential election went for Trump.

Not surprisingly at the DFL booth, Lewis’s announcement was met with skepticism.

“When he was a congressman for our district, he was just Trump’s little lackey boy, and got voted out in this election, so I don’t know why he thinks he is going to win against a popular senator like Tina Smith,” Burnsville’s Zach Heinen said.

In 2016, he talked with Esme Murphy about having been labeled by some as a “mini Donald Trump,” saying that the Democratic strategy was to label every Republican candidate a Trump follower.

Esme Murphy

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