Phil Krinkie announced over the weekend that he would be joining the 6th Congressional District field, making the former legislator the fourth GOP candidate to have declared for the seat currently held by Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann. This will be a second attempt at winning over the strongly conservative district for Krinkie, who ran for the GOP endorsement in 2006, losing that contest to Bachmann. Later that year, he lost his reelection bid in the state House.
Krinkie joins Tom Emmer, a fellow former legislator and 2010 gubernatorial candidate, as well as Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah and Sen. John Pederson, R-St. Cloud, in pursuing the seat, which has become an attractive career option since Bachmann announced she would not seek reelection in 2014. Krinkie’s entry followed the news that Emmer, the first candidate out of the gate, has outraised his competitors several times over to this point. According to Federal Elections Commission filings released last week, Emmer had raised $225,000, compared to Pederson’s total of $35,000 and Sivarajah’s $19,066, which she raised after officially filing her paperwork in the closing days of the quarter.
Over his eight terms in the Legislature, Krinkie rose to the chairmanship of the House Taxes Committee. Since his ouster, he has served as head of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, a position that has mostly kept his focus on state-level issues, though Krinkie has occasionally voiced his opinion on federal topics such as the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and the federal “fiscal cliff.” Krinkie is also president of Snelling Company, a heating and air conditioning business that has been in his family since 1931.
Krinkie announced his candidacy at the Sherburne County Fair on Saturday. According to the Pioneer Press, he called Emmer and Sivarajah “friends and political allies,” but said he could distinguish himself from the rest of the field with his record of public service and experience in the private sector.
Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, formerly the majority leader in the House, is also considering a candidacy in the 6th District. The area’s conservative demographics have effectively kept prominent Democrats from entering the race. To date, only anti-lead activist Judy Adams has declared a Democratic candidacy, though Sartell Mayor Joe Perske, a moderate DFLer, indicated to the St. Cloud Times that he plans to make a decision about entering the race soon.