Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Salisbury: Hatch v. Pawlenty

In even bigger news, the Pioneer Press can still get a scoop (I thought that MDE would be the MSM with the letter). This is the letter that Hatch alluded to a few weeks back.

Perpetual gubernatorial candidate Mike Hatch has sent a letter to supports saying that Hatch “will announce my candidacy for governor on Oct. 24.”

Mailing confirms Hatch candidacy
Bill Salisbury

For years, Minnesota political insiders have expected Attorney General Mike Hatch to run for governor in 2006.

Now, Hatch finally has confirmed that he will do so.

In a fundraising letter to about 5,000 supporters this week, he wrote, "I will announce my candidacy for governor on Oct. 24, and I ask for your support."

Kari Erickson, a spokeswoman for the Hatch Volunteer Committee, on Tuesday confirmed that the letter is legitimate. In addition to the letter, the committee mailed bumper stickers and "Mike Hatch for Governor" brochures to the supporters.

Hatch was not available for comment. But he long has yearned for the state's top office.

A major player on Minnesota's political stage since he was elected state Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chairman 25 years ago, Hatch, 56, ran unsuccessfully in the 1990 and 1994 DFL gubernatorial primaries. He has been considered his party's leading contender for governor since 1998, when he was elected attorney general and became the only DFL state constitutional officer. He was re-elected in 2002.

In his letter, Hatch blamed Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty for
a "humiliating government shutdown this year," referring to the eight-day budget
impasse with the Legislature in early July. "I look forward to working with you
and restoring our pride in this great state," he wrote.

The mailing included an invitation to a $50-per-person fundraising reception on Oct. 27 at the Summit Avenue home of Joe Samargia, who served with Hatch, then the state commerce commissioner, in the cabinet of former Gov. Rudy Perpich in the 1980s. Samargia, who said he expects up to 200 guests, confirmed Tuesday that Hatch would be a candidate for governor.

"He is," Samargia said. "I wouldn't be doing this if he weren't announcing."

Hatch will be the fifth DFL candidate to enter the DFL race for governor. The other announced candidates are state Sen. Steve Kelley, real estate developer Kelly Doran, nonprofit founder and former state Rep. Bud Philbrook, and perennial candidate Ole Savior. State Sen. Becky Lourey also has expressed interest.

Although Pawlenty, the first-term governor, has not formally announced his candidacy, he has repeatedly said that he plans to seek a second term next year.

The Minnesota Republican Party didn't wait for Hatch to declare his candidacy before attacking him. Last week, the party launched a new political Web site, www.mikeunhatched.com, to criticize the attorney general's record. Hatch is the only DFL candidate targeted by a GOP Web site, suggesting the party takes hiscandidacy seriously.
(Source: Pioneer Press, Oct. 19, 2005)



There you have it, Hatch is in. This is where the fun begins.

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