U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has named Justin Buoen as campaign manager for her 2012 Senate re-election race.
“Justin started with me six years ago organizing parades, and since then, he has become a critical member of my team,” Klobuchar said. “Justin knows our state well, and he is uniquely qualified to lead our campaign at this time.”
The big problem Buoen and Klobuchar could face is overconfidence from Klobuchar’s base. At this point, major Republican players — former Sen. Norm Coleman and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty — both have said they are not interested in Senate runs against Klobuchar.
That leaves the GOP with former state legislator Dan Severson, as well as St. Bonfacius City Council Member Joe Arwood as the leading candidates in the race. Severson filed reports showing he raised $35,000 for his race in the last quarter; Arwood, $10,500. In the same quarter, Klobuchar raised about $1 million and has $4 million banked for the race.
GOP leaders, however, insist they will be able to chip away at Klobuchar’s popularity in the polls and indicate that, at some point, other candidates may emerge.
Buoen — who has been working for Klobuchar for six years, most recently as deputy campaign manager — is the son of MinnPost Co-managing Editor Roger Buoen.