Former Sen. Rudy Boschwitz joins campaign of Joel Demos, who’s challenging Keith Ellison

Although he’s been largely absent from local politics for almost 20 years, former U.S. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz still carries hefty name recognition and now he’s hopped on the campaign wagon of Joel Demos, the Republican-endorsed challenger facing Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison.

Maybe Boschwitz can draw on his Plywood Minnesota experience and help build a strong platform for the 33-year-old Demos, a bank executive who says he’s not a politician, but is running against an incumbent in a very liberal district. Boschwitz hopes to beef up the Demos campaign enough to garner more Minneapolis votes for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.

Before Demos was endorsed, there was chatter about him being an associate pastor at an apostolic church, but there’s no mention of that now on his campaign website.

In a statement noted in a Strib blog, Boschwitz said:

“This will be an uphill battle to be sure, but 2010 is certainly the year when uphill battles have a real chance of winning,” said Boschwitz, also former chair of the Republican Senatorial Committee. “And if we have a strong showing in the 5th District — which is principally the City of Minneapolis — we enormously enhance the probability of keeping the Minnesota Governorship. That is crucial.”

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