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State Rep. Jim Abeler says he’s formed committee to explore run against Sen. Franken

Abeler, from Anoka, is in his eighth term in the state House and has much experience in health and human services issues.

State Rep. Jim Abeler, a veteran Republican lawmaker from Anoka, says he’s formed a committee to explore a run against U.S. Sen. Al Franken.

The eighth-term legislator, who has experience in health and human services issues, said in a statement today:

“Minnesota needs a Senator from Minnesota who has invested his life in the fabric of the people who make our state great. That Senator must strongly protect our personal privacy and liberty, unlock the stifling stranglehold the federal government holds on Minnesota, and recapture the flexibility we need to run our own state. I know I can be that Senator.”

Abeler hasn’t been a typical Republican Minnesota lawmaker. In 2008, he was one of six GOP state House members who voted to override then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto of a gas tax increase. Two of the “override six” retired after that vote, two were defeated in the next election and only Abeler and state Rep. Rod Hamilton were re-elected in 2008.

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And Abeler supported Ron Paul in the GOP presidential campaign last year.