By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota once again has a United States Senate race in 2020.

Senator Tina Smith just won reelection in 2018 but she has to run again because she is filling out the term of former Senator Al Franken who resigned abruptly in 2018 amidst sexual harassment allegations.

Smith has modeled herself after U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, carving out moderate positions on key issues.

In November 2018, she won a convincing victory over popular State Senator Karin Housley. Now, she must run again and one of her possible opponents is former Congressman Jason Lewis who has already gotten the endorsement of President Trump.

For years Lewis was a conservative radio talk show host. In 2016, he was elected to Congress from Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District. But in a rematch, he lost his seat in 2018 to Democrat Angie Craig.

Lewis believes he will ride a pro-Trump wave to victory over Senator Smith in 2020.

“He only lost by 44,000 votes, Mitt Romney lost by 225,000, John McCain by 300,000, as Pennsylvania goes, as Ohio goes, as Wisconsin goes, Minnesota is next in line,” Lewis said. “44,000 votes is not much and we have been up on the Iron Range and we are going to win the 8th district because that has been crucial in statewide Minnesota races.”

In terms of fundraising, Senator Smith has a commanding lead over Lewis. She has raised $5.5 million and has $3.6 million in cash on hand. In contrast, Lewis has raised $719,000 and has $425,000 on hand.

There are other Republicans running. They include Rob Barrett, Alexandra Marie Holker, Forest Hyatt and Theron Preston.

Esme Murphy

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