St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg has joined the field of GOP contenders seeking to oust U.S. Sen. Al Franken in 2014. There are now six candidates looking to secure the Republican nomination.
Dahlberg is positioning himself as a candidate with crossover appeal who can win a statewide election. He stresses his track record of winning elections in the DFL stronghold of St. Louis County, which includes Duluth.
“We need to appeal to a wider range of voters,” Dahlberg said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “Any credible Republican can get support in strong Republican districts, but what good does that do? We need a candidate who’s not only a strong fiscal conservative, but one who has also proven an ability to appeal to Democrats and independents.”
Word of Dahlberg’s candidacy was initially floated last month in a letter from major GOP contributor Stanley Hubbard touting the merits of his candidacy. The 51-year-old Republican is retiring from the military on Oct. 1 after 25 years with the U.S. Army reserves.
Dahlberg was first elected to the St. Louis County Board in 2008. He won re-election to the nonpartisan office last year with 60 percent of the vote and is currently chair of the seven-member board.
The other candidates generating the most attention are businessman Mike McFadden, state Sen. Julianne Ortman and state Rep. Jim Abeler. Monti Moreno and Phillip Parrish are also seeking the GOP nomination.