State Representative Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, suspended his campaign for Minnesota Seventh Congressional District on Monday, Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Pugmire reported in GOP candidate Miller ends 7th District bid:
State Rep. Tim Miller is no longer running for congress in Minnesota’s 7th District.
Miller, R-Prinsburg, announced in a news release Monday that he is suspending his campaign and will instead seek reelection to his Minnesota House seat.
Miller was seeking the GOP nomination to challenge incumbent DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson in 2018. He said he was confident in winning that endorsement but was falling short in other areas.
“A campaign to unseat 28-year incumbent Collin Peterson will need stronger fundraising and greater state and national traction than I’ve been able to generate,” Miller said.
Republicans Dave Hughes and Matt Prosch remain in the race. Hughes ran against Peterson in 2016, losing by 5 percentage points.
Pugmire notes that former state legislator Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, has filed to run for MN17A. In the West Central Tribune, Linda Vanderwerf reports in State Rep. Tim Miller ends campaign for Congress, to run for re-election:
Miller said he looks forward to returning to the Legislature and pursuing solutions related to healthcare and protecting the vulnerable and working on issues related to the Montevideo Veterans home, the Appleton prison and the closing of Benson Power.
Miller v. Koenen matchup
Lyle Koenen, who served as a state representative, then state senator after the death of beloved state senator Gary Kubly, will have his work cut out for him to regain the seat Miller won in 2014 by defeating incumbent Andrew Falk of rural Murdock.
While Koenen is much more conservative than Falk--Koenen voted against same sex marriage, against raising the state's minimum wage and other signature DFL legislation--the earth of the district was salted against Koenen in 2016 by independent expenditures by such groups as the Freedom Club State PAC and the MN Action Network IE PAC. The former spent $151,069.18 to defeat Koenen and the latter $92,729.69 (click on "Year-End Report at the links for both organizations.
Give his Republicanesque votes, we're not sure what more Koenen could have done to endear himself to conservatives like Robert Cummins, other than taking the token gesture of switching parties, but the genial Koenen lost to Andrew Lang in 2016 in MN17A by 56.22 percent to 43.72 percent, nearly 3 percent better than Falk in his comeback bid, and way better than Hillary Clinton.
Bluestem tends to think outperforming Clinton's performance in rural Minnesota isn't a solid benchmark for any Greater Minnesota DFL retread candidate in 2018.
But odder things could happen in Minnesota politics next year than a Koenen victory over Miller.
Photo: Koenen (left) and Miller (right). Via West Central Tribune.
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