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Businessman Mike McFadden to challenge Al Franken

WASHINGTON — The Minnesota businessman is Al Franken’s first challenger.

WASHINGTON — Businessman Mike McFadden will challenge Democratic Sen. Al Franken in 2014, he announced in a web video today.

McFadden, an executive at the Lazard Middle Market finance firm, is the only Republican yet to challenge Franken, who is seeking re-election for the first time.

McFadden’s announcement came in the form of a biographical video, with his daughter discussing his Minnesota upbringing and personal life. He alluded to running a campaign based on fiscal responsibility.

“I’m very concerned about the direction this country is headed. We have a very stagnant economy, and we have amassed an enormous amount of debt, which will be passed on to our children unless something is done,” he said. “We need to set our expectations higher, we need to demand better. I will make sure this gets done.”

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Democrats were ready for the announcement. The liberal group Alliance for a Better Minnesota put out a statement calling McFadden “Minnesota’s Mitt Romney.”

Devin Henry can be reached at