Sen. Norm Coleman (R) might be looking at a primary challenge from former Sen. Rod Grams (R), according to an online report by the St. Paul Pioneer-Press last week.
First elected to the Senate in 1994, Grams lost his 2000 re-election bid to Mark Dayton (D), who opted not to run again in 2006. Grams, who ran unsuccessfully for a House seat in 2006, told the paper he had not made a decision yet.
“I haven’t said yes. I haven’t said no,” he said.
Grams said he could wage a bid because he’s unhappy that GOP leaders are not conservative enough.
“I’ve been unhappy with the direction the party has gone,” he told the Pioneer-Press.
A Coleman campaign spokesman declined to comment.
Assuming he is renominated as he makes his first re-election bid, Coleman will face one of three Democratic-Farmer-Labor party contenders currently running: comedian Al Franken, attorney Mike Ciresi and anti-war activist Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer.
The primary for both parties is scheduled for Sept. 9; however, both parties have nominating conventions in early summer. All of the Democratic Senate candidates have agreed to abide by their party’s endorsement at the June conference.
— Shira Toeplitz