Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 1, 2014

Franken Challenger Says Minnesota GOP ‘Starting to Unify’ (Video)

The candidate: Republican state Sen. Julianne Ortman
The member: First-term Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.
The state:
Franken won by the smallest margin of any Senate race in 2008. He defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, following a recount.
The candidate’s team:
Campaign manager Andy Parrish and media consultant Ed Brookover.

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.”

Minnesota’s Senate is rated Safe Democrat by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

This video interview series questions the scores of congressional hopefuls who visit the CQ Roll Call offices each cycle. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed. Have a question for a candidate? Follow us at @RollCallPols to learn about upcoming interviews.

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