Watch your back, Kevin Dahle.
The first-term senator from Minnesota’s District 25 has Republicans knocking each other down for the chance to challenge him for his seat, which he won in a January 2008 special election to replace Sen. Tom Neuville, who was appointed to a judgeship.
In June, three Republicans from the district filed documents with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, announcing their intention to seek the GOP endorsement to challenge Dahle: William A. Paulsen of Lonsdale, Alan DeKruif of Elysian and Jonathan “Jack” Baker of Northfield.
More than 14 months before the 2010 general election, 19 people have filed with the Campaign Finance Board to run for the state Senate in 16 districts, and 16 have filed to run for House seats.
Of that number, 13 are DFLers, 20 are Republicans, one is a member of the Independence Party and one – Dennis Hegberg of Forest Lake, who seeks to challenge first-term Sen. Ray Vandeveer, R-Forest Lake – has his party listed in his campaign filing as “other.”
The only other district in which more than one candidate has filed campaign documents is Senate District 31, where two Republicans – Paul Ibisch of LaCrescent and Jeremy Miller of Winona – hope to unseat first-term Sen. Sharon Erickson Ropes, DFL-Winona.
In Senate District 38, an overabundance of Carlsons might lead to some confusion on Election Day if Republican David Carlson of Eagan gets his party’s nomination, because he’ll be challenging first-term Sen. Jim Carlson, DFL-Eagan.
For a week in June, Dan Hall, a Republican from Burnsville, was a candidate for both the state House and the state Senate. Hall filed papers in March to challenge Rep. Will Morgan, DFL-Burnsville, but in June decided to aim higher: He filed to run for the District 40 Senate seat instead, challenging Sen. John Doll, DFL-Burnsville. (His documentation to run for the Senate seat was filed with the Campaign Finance Board on June 18, but the official termination of his House campaign is recorded as June 25.)
In House District 55B, Christopher Robert, a Republican from Oakdale, wasted no time in announcing his intention to challenge Rep. Nora Slawik, DFL-Maplewood: He filed the required documents with the Campaign Finance Board just six days after Election Day 2008, earning the distinction of becoming the first person to file papers to run for the state Legislature in 2010.
One of the more uphill battles to unseat an incumbent would be in Senate District 9, where Jeffery Backer Jr., a Republican from Browns Valley, is challenging Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, who is now serving his ninth four-year term (and who won his last election, in 2006, with almost 70 percent of the vote).
There are a handful of primary challenges shaping up. In House District 63A, DFLer Charles Miller of Minneapolis has filed to run for a seat currently held by four-term Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis; Miller might have a good shot if Thissen, one of a swarm of DFLers hoping to earn the party’s nomination to run for governor in 2010, is successful in that quest.
In Senate District 64, Don Arnosti, a DFLer from St. Paul, is seeking the seat held by seven-term Sen. Richard Cohen, DFL-St. Paul. In District 4, DFLer Gregory Paquin of Bemidji is challenging first-term Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji; District 58 pits Minneapolis DFLer Raymond Dehn against fourth-term Sen. Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis; and in House District 58A, Justin Adams, a DFLer from Minneapolis, is challenging seven-term Rep. Joe Mullery, DFL-Minneapolis.
The only Republican primary battle so far comes in House District 33A, where David Osmek of Mound has filed to run for a seat held by Rep. Steve Smith, R-Mound, who is now in his 10th term – and won the 2008 election with 62.5 percent of the vote.