Following an announcement Friday that current DFL Chair Brian Melendez will not seek another term, longtime party operative Ken Martin threw his name in the ring.
In a letter sent Monday to the DFL State Central Committee, Martin said he would run for chair along with associate chair candidate Marge Hoffa, the current chair of the Third Congressional District DFLers.
“The fight in front of us will be very difficult as we are now facing a strident conservative majority both in St. Paul and Washington D.C.,” Martin said in the letter. “I am focused and determined to continue fighting for the values of our party and the people of Minnesota.”
The central committee will meet on Feb. 5 to vote on leadership positions. No one else has announced plans to run for the chairmanship.
Martin most recently served as head of WIN Minnesota and the 2010 Fund – PACs that raised millions and battered GOP candidate Tom Emmer with negative ads throughout the campaign – and as manager to Gov.-elect Mark Dayton’s recount effort.
He also earned DFL cred for his 2008 campaign to push the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, which passed and was more popular than any candidate on the ballot. The primary blemish on his record: he managed Mike Hatch‘s 2006 failed gubernatorial run, but few blame him for Hatch’s 11th-hour gaffe that many say cost him the race.