State Rep. Jim Abeler announced on Tuesday morning he’s launched an exploratory committee for a 2014 U.S. Senate bid.
The expert on health care issues, who is in his eighth House term as a Republican from Anoka, said he wants to “unlock the stifling stranglehold the federal government holds on Minnesota, and recapture the flexibility we need to run our own state.”
“I am starting this run for U.S. Senate because I believe America is in trouble,” Abeler said. “The personal and religious freedoms that were intended for us by our Founding Fathers are being steadily eroded. Government spending is out of control and unsustainable. Massive debt to foreign countries threatens our sovereignty. Our children and grandchildren are born into a future as indentured debtors of our country’s careless spending. When we are dependent on the government, we are absolutely not free.”
Abeler is the second Republican candidate to enter the field to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken in next year’s Senate contest. Minneapolis businessman Mike McFadden last month entered the race.
Abeler is a chiropractor, and he said his 34 years of business experience gives him a “unique perspective” on the challenges that businesses face.
When Republicans controlled the state House from 2011 to 2013, Abeler was the chairman of the Health and Human Services Finance Committee. Abeler became an object of derision for conservative Republicans in 2008 when he joined all House DFLers in overriding GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto of a transportation funding bill.
Abeler has launched a website with the slogan: “CHANGE FOR THE BETTER.”