The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on speculation that our friend Mark Kennedy, currently the Representative for Minnesota’s 6th District, intends to run for the Senate against Mark Dayton in 2006.
Dayton is about as weak a candidate as any incumbent Senator could be, and with Minnesota trending strongly to the right, the opportunity to run against him will be a plum. Kennedy has run two impressive races. First he defeated incumbent David Minge by a handful of votes; then, in 2002, he had to run for reelection in a reconstituted district that included few of his original constituents, against a rich Democrat who invested a great deal of money in the race. He clobbered her, putting himself at the forefront of Senate speculation.
Mark has made a number of public appearances outside his district in recent months, showing up not only at the governor’s fishing opener, but also in St. Paul’s Cinco de Mayo parade. It is hard to avoid the inference that he is trying to build state-wide name recognition.
Mark is an experienced businessman and a very able Congressman, although perhaps not quite as conservative as we might like. An accountant by training, he is not a great natural politician, but has worked hard and should be ready for a Senate race in three years. If he makes the run, no one who has observed Mark’s hard-working, driven approach to politics and campaigning will bet against him.
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