U of M chief counsel Mark Rotenberg has thrown his hat into the ring for the '06 Senate race:
He is the third Democrat to file papers, although none have said they are running for sure for the seat being vacated by Sen. Mark Dayton in 2006. Rotenberg said in a news release Monday that he'll take several weeks to make that decision.
Rotenberg said he wants to see how his party and the state's residents respond to a "fresh new face among Democrats.''
Rotenberg has served as Minnesota's general counsel since 1992. To date, his political activity has been behind the scenes, such as his 2004 role as a Minnesota leader in Sen. Joe Lieberman's presidential campaign.
For those of you not from Minnesota, here's how it works in the DFL:
- A huge gaggle of politicos express their interest, and campaign like mad.
- The DFL will closely query each of them as to whether they'll abide by the endorsement process. Some wil so pledge, others will earn the ire of longtime DFL activists by remaining silent.
- At the party caucuses and conventions - which are run according to a byzantine system that apportions votes proportionally among special interest sub-caucuses - a nominee emerges; the nominee is usually a long-time party activist with frequently dubious name recognition outside the party. For example, in 2000 the nominee for Senate was Jerry Janezich, a bar owner and painfully inarticulate speaker from Grand Rapids.
- Then, the primaries happen - and the DFL candidate with the most money and public recognition (at least, outside the party) wins. In 2000, Mark Dayton crushed the endorsed Janezich.
- Frequently, both will go on to the general election.
- In most cases (at least for high-profile races), the unendorsed candidate will mop the floor with the endorsed one.
The DFL endorsement, some joke, is the kiss of death, even in a state where the DFL still has a slight electoral edge.
It's not quite a prediction yet, but it's a pattern. And great fun to watch.
Posted by Mitch at
March 9, 2005 07:46 AM