The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

August 3, 2013

GOP's Ortman joins U.S. Senate race

MINNEAPOLIS — Julianne Ortman, a veteran state senator from the Twin Cities suburbs, on Saturday joined the growing group of Republicans who want to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Al Franken next year.

Ortman launched her campaign at a downtown park in Waconia, a town west of Minneapolis in the Carver County state Senate district that Ortman has represented for the last decade. In a short speech, Ortman criticized Washington as dysfunctional, and stressed her own middle class background and reputation at Minnesota's Capitol for tenacious advocacy of Republican principles.

"This is our time as voters in Minnesota to say that we expect more from Washington and our U.S. Senate," Ortman said. "We need more Minnesota in Washington, and less Washington in Minnesota."

Franken, elected to the Senate by a razor-thin margin in 2008, is running for a second term in 2014. Two other Republicans are also running to be party's candidate against him: Mike McFadden, a businessman from the St. Paul suburb of Sunfish Lake; and Jim Abeler, a state representative from Anoka.

In her speech, Ortman had many harsh words for Franken but also offered veiled criticism of McFadden, a wealthy businessman with no previous political experience.

"We don't need any more disinterested millionaires in the U.S. Senate," Ortman said. In a seeming reference to Franken's background as a "Saturday Night Live" writer and performer, she said: "We don't need more celebrity politicians who sit back and watch and provide comedic commentary. We need a strong, independent-minded woman."

Ortman, 50, lives in Chanhassen. She and husband Ray Ortman have four children. Ortman was elected to the state Senate in 2002. She has served as deputy leader of the Senate GOP and chaired the powerful Taxes Committee in 2011-12. She has a reputation as an aggressive debater and questioner, and has been a tough critic of Gov. Mark Dayton and of Democratic policies on a wide range of issues, from tax and spending priorities to gun control.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Allina drops celebrated birthing option MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Allina Health has pulled the drain plug on a celebrated birthing option at its 11 Minnesota hospitals and the Mother Baby Center in Minneapolis. Allina says it will no longer offer water births because of new guidance from the Ame

    April 24, 2014

  • Federal study finds mercury in trout caught in three Grand Canyon creeks PHOENIX — With their natural beauty and protected environments, the Grand Canyon and other national parks in the West would seem removed from having mercury in their streams and rivers. But a federal study found small levels of the contaminant in ra

    April 24, 2014

  • Post office sales fight grows SAN FRANCISCO — The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has issued a report to Congress that criticizes the U.S. Postal Service’s disposal of historic properties and calls for a suspension of all sales until a host of recommendations are implem

    April 24, 2014

  • Lawmakers jockey over budget surpluses WASHINGTON — Less than 24 hours after the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team beat cross-state rival Louisville to advance to the Sweet 16, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray asked state lawmakers for $80 million to renovate Rupp Arena, the iconic bui

    April 23, 2014

  • Minn. lawmakers seek to enhance privacy protection ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers are on the verge of cracking down on public employees who abuse their access to citizen data. A measure being negotiated in a House-Senate conference committee would do more to expose and punish data snoope

    April 23, 2014

  • Republican activists push party on gay marriage LAS VEGAS (AP) — As bans against gay marriage crumble and public opinion on the issue shifts rapidly, some Republicans are pushing the party to drop its opposition to same-sex unions, part of a broader campaign to get the GOP to appeal to younger vot

    April 23, 2014

  • mfp church abuse Archbishop deposition on abuse made public Archbishop John Nienstedt says no one reprimanded who handled abuse

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Legislature takes aim at new lottery games Legislators angry lottery didn't tell of new games

    April 22, 2014

  • NE ski resort extends season Lutsen still has two to four feet of snow on its runs

    April 22, 2014

  • Mpls police looking for pit bull, owner Man injured, dog killed when attacked in park

    April 22, 2014

Press-Plus Subscribe
Sign In
Featured Ads
AP Video