Despite a spate of scolding letters-to-the-editor published by the Mankato Free Press, former state senator Al DeKruif, who served one full short-term (2011-2012), is dropping plans to compete for the Republican endorsement to run against four-term DFL congressman Tim Walz.
The gap will be filled by political newcomer Aaron Miller of Byron.
Josh Moniz reports in the New Ulm Journal article, DeKruif drops out of 1st District race:
Former Sen. Al DeKruif, of Madison Lake, has announced his withdrawal from the Republican race to challenge U.S. Rep. Tim Walz for Minnesota's 1st Congressional District.
DeKruif said he believes Republicans have a very strong chance of winning the 1st District in 2014, but he is too busy with work on his resort to run. He wants to step out of the way to give other Republicans the best chance of having an effective campaign. He will offer support for the candidate that becomes Walz's opponent.
However, he is still reserving the ability to get back into the race if the field ends up being too weak. Such a decision would depend on how the race develops. He would also be open to running in a future election.
In the Rochester Post Bulletin, Heather Carlson reports in [Aaron] Miller to formally announce 1CD run on Tuesday:
Miller is slated to launch his campaign at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial. The Republican will then travel to Mankato for a 2 p.m. press conference. He will continue his tour of the district on Wednesday with stops in Owatonna, Albert Lea, Austin and Winona.
A political newcomer, Miller is a command sergeant major in the Army reserves who has done several tours of duty overseas and been awarded the Bronze Star. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is a senior hospital account manager at rEVO Biologics.
Miller will join Rochester area state representative Mike Benson in the pursuit of the Republican endorsement.
While Miller is making the press rounds on Tuesday, Congressman Walz will be at Farmfest. At 10:30 a.m. he'll join Seventh District Congressman Collin Peterson, the ranking Democratic member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, Roger Johnson, President, National Farmers Union, Dale Moore, Public Policy Director, American Farm Bureau, and Bob Worth, Vice President, American Soybean Association in a panel on "Reaching an Endpoint on a New Farm Bill."
Peterson and Walz are sharing a booth, as are the First and Seventh CD Republicans. The state DFL has a separate booth.
With the Tea Party reving up again, it's possible that politicians at the production ag show may see the sort of antics that marked the 2009 forums. However, while Farmfest audiences and forum organizer Kent Thiesse enjoy a lively exchange, they also respect civility.
Last August's big gaffe in the First, after all, took place at a Republican fundraiser just before Farmfest, when Mike Parry uttered his peculiar observations about Governor Dayton's alleged "pill-popping" ways. Parry lost the primary to Allen Quist, candidates Buzzfeed numbered among the seven craziest in America 2012.
While Benson and Miller seem like paragons of stability, there's still hope for some excitement in this race. Moniz reports:
Former Sen. Mike Parry, who unsuccessfully ran in the 2012 Republican primary for the 1st District, and Jim Hagedorn, who unsuccessfully ran in the 2010 Republican endorsement convention, are still weighing their options. Parry is also considering a run for Minnesota's Secretary of State or for governor.
Photo: Good-bye Al DeKruif. We were so hoping you'd follow through (above). Aaron Miller, via Linked In (below).
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