1.) Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline has continued his fundraising dominance over Democratic opponent Mike Obermueller, according to the Star Tribune, which highlights Kline’s 3-to-1 fundraising lead over the former DFL legislator. Kline raised $450,000 during the last quarter of 2013, and entered this year with $1.6 million in cash on hand. Obermueller raised about $132,000 during the same time period; his deficit in cash on hand is even worse, with just $203,000 available to spend heading into the election year. Obermueller has essentially been running for the seat since he lost the 2012 election against the GOP incumbent, and his failure to win over liberal donors will be a disappointment to national Democrats, who consider Kline’s one of the few House districts where the party could gain a Republican seat.
2.) Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chris Dahlberg announced that he plans to seek and abide by the party endorsement, clearing up an earlier ambiguity in his campaign. In a statement explaining his position, Dahlberg said he had a deep understanding of the sanctity of the endorsement process, having first been elected as a party delegate in 1980. “I still see the importance of respecting that process, and that’s why I am pledging to abide by the party’s endorsement,” Dahlberg said. The St. Louis County Board member’s decision could be a practical acknowledgement of the state of his finances: Though GOP candidate Mike McFadden has yet to catch on with GOP activists, his $1.7 million cash on hand towers over the totals raised by other Republicans in that race. Other candidates would likely need to seal the party endorsement to combat McFadden’s enormous resource advantage.
3.) Sen. Karin Housley, R-St. Marys Point, has acknowledged that she is considering a gubernatorial bid, and a new op-ed piece she authored for the Pioneer Press will do little to dispel chatter along those lines. In her column, Housley draws attention to her recent call for Gov. Mark Dayton to call a special session to address problems with MNsure, arguing the state-run health insurance exchange needs immediate and forceful action. Housley’s op-ed calls out five different examples of “FAIL,” including low enrollment figures and extended call center wait times, before reiterating her position that the matter should inspire a special session in the month before the regularly scheduled session is scheduled to begin. “The Legislature and Gov. Dayton created this mess,” Housley writes, “so it’s up to the Legislature and Gov. Dayton to fix it.”
COMINGS & GOINGS