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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

MN: Primary today for Franken, U.S. House candidates

1:30 PM

In Minnesota the candidates endorsed during summertime party conventions often see their opposition drop away shortly afterwards. But a pair of congressional races are seeing more than the usual level of opposition today.

Observers think Dem Al Franken will coast through his U.S. Senate primary -- none of his recent TV ads have focused on his fellow Dems and national groups who have focused on the race have treated him as the de facto nominee.

But he is facing six other Dems today, most visibly attorney Priscilla Lord Faris, who has been on the air with TV and radio ads critical of Franken's work as a comedian and his time spent living outside of Minnesota.

"I just wish that Franken would have had the respect to have debated me. You know we always debate in the primaries, but he refused to even acknowledge my presence, and I'm a little insulted by that," Lord Faris said to Minnesota Public Radio.

There's also a seven-way primary to determine the Independence Party's candidate in the Senate race. The top candidate in that race is thought to be Dean Barkley, a former adviser to former Gov. Jesse Ventura who served as the state's interim senator after Paul Wellstone died in 2002.

The other congressional primary that state politicos are keeping an eye on is the Republican race between the party-endorsed Brian Davis and state Sen. Dick Day. The winner will take on first-term Dem Tim Walz.


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