Franken Challenger Says Minnesota GOP ‘Starting to Unify’

by Anna Giaritelli, Roll Call
November 26, 2013

State Sen. Julianne Ortman, a Republican, described her recent straw poll victory as proof her party is starting to coalesce around a challenger to Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., in 2014.

“It’s encouragement that we’re starting to unify the party,” Ortman said in a Nov. 8 interview with CQ Roll Call.

A plethora of GOP candidates have declared bids for the May primary: state Rep. Jim Abeler, St. Louis County Board of Commissioners Chairman Chris Dahlberg, financial executive Mike McFadden, bison farmer Monti Moreno, and retired Army chaplain Harold Shudlick.

McFadden, in particular, has proved a formidable force in the race with his strong fundraising. But Ortman argued she stood out from the pack with her legislative experience.

“I bring some things to the race that others don’t … I’m also a mom,” said Ortman, ticking off the names and ages of her four children. “It’s all about their future, really.”

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