Minnesota Independence Party officials have been saying for months that they don’t plan to run anyone in the 2012 U.S. Senate race, intending instead to sit back and watch the Republicans try to unseat popular Democrat incumbent Amy Klobuchar.
But the issue was raised again this week, and Party Chairman Mark Jenkins was quoted by AP again saying there are no plans to run a candidate in the race:
“In my years with the Independence Party I’ve always seen the Senate race as a distraction from having our best and brightest engaged in state legislative races,” Jenkins said.
Party founder Dean Barkley, who was appointed by Gov. Jesse Ventura to fill out the last days of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone’s term, and who got 15 percent of the vote in 2008 in the Franken/Coleman drawn out Senate race, agrees that there doesn’t appear to be a formidable party standard bearer for the race.”
“I would have assumed that if someone was serious about it I probably would have heard about it by now,” Barkley said Thursday. “I’m usually one of the first ones they call upon and my phone has not rang.”
Of course, someone could come along next summer and file for the race without leadership approval.
“We can’t keep someone off the line on the ballot,” Jenkins said. “So to some degree we need to work to make sure it’s not a complete embarrassment to the party.”