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Dean Barkley goes zen, plays golf on Election Day

Dean Barkley, the Independence Party for U.S. senator, prides himself on being outside of politics as usual, and late this afternoon, he certainly was thinking outside the political box.

“You can’t sweat the things you have no control over,” Barkley said when reached by cell by MinnPost, sounding especially relaxed. Barkley was so relaxed, in fact, that after a couple of radio appearances in the morning, casting his vote at 10 a.m., then speaking at the Golden Valley Rotary Club, he actually went golfing.

“I shot nine holes and scored a 40,” Barkley said of his outing at Hollydale Golf Course in Plymouth.

A couple of things had Barkley feeling upbeat. First, he managed to raise some money and run some television ads, to the tune of $100,000, starting last Thursday. How many ran? “I have no idea, you’ll have to talk to Bill Hillsman,” Barkley said of the local political ad guru who did the spots. “I don’t interfere in what he does.”

Second, Barkley was encouraged by what looks to be at least 80 per cent eligible voter turnout, noting that the 60 per cent turnout in 1998 help propel Jesse Ventura into the governor’s office.

“New voters who come out aren’t Democrats or Republicans,” Barkley reasoned.

As for the lasting impressions of the three-way Senate race with Al Franken and Norm Coleman, Barkley offered: “The tone of the campaign. That and the economy are the major factors here.”

In all, Barkley said he hopes he’s presented an alternative to what Coleman and Franken have given in a pretty negative campaign. “I set out to give people a choice, and I think I did that,” he concluded. “We’ll see if people are disgusted with my two opponents. But it’s up to the voters at this point, and that’s what it’s all about.”

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