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State Sen. Julianne Ortman becomes third GOP candidate to challenge Sen. Al Franken

MinnPost photo by Brian Halliday
State Sen. Julianne Ortman, with sons William and Sam at her side, announced her intentions Saturday to seek the Republican nomination to run again Sen. Al Franken in 2014.

Julianne Ortman wants Minnesota’s U.S. Senate delegation to be all female and bipartisan.

Ortman, the Republican state senator from Chanhassen, hopes to join Minnesota’s senior senator, Amy Klobuchar, in Washington. On Saturday, she announced that she will seek the Republican nomination to run again Sen. Al Franken in 2014.

Ortman joins former financial adviser Mike McFadden and state Rep. Jim Abeler in the Republican race for endorsement and nomination.

Before a crowd of 50 at a Waconia city park, Ortman said the state needs new representation because Franken has ducked the major issues. 

“You would think that a senator with a seat on the powerful Judiciary Committee would insist on our behalf that the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder be accountable for the investigations into the brutal murder of American diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, the sale of guns and weapons to Mexican drug cartels, the politically motivated and illegal targeting of law abiding taxpayers by the IRS,” she said.  

 She twice sidestepped a question about whether she would go to a primary election if she did not get the endorsement.

“I have one opponent I’m running against, and that’s Senator Al Franken,” she said. “I’m working every day … to earn all the support that I’m gonna need to defeat him on Nov. 4, 2014.”

She hinted at a line of attack she intends to pursue against McFadden, a wealthy businessman.

“We don’t need any more disinterested millionaires in the Senate,” she said. “I know that Mr. McFadden has not had any public service,” she said. “I think making that transition to Washington is not necessarily an easy thing.”

Ortman, an attorney and former chair of the Minnesota Senate Tax Committee, said her experience gives her informed perspective on national issues.

In a brief question-and-answer session, she said national security and use of private information is a top concern.

“We have a court that is meeting secretly, ex parte, meaning there is no opposition, so the government attorney shows up, asks a judge in secret for a court order that then is being enforced against millions of unsuspecting Americans,” she said.

On the immigration reform bill that just passed the Senate, Ortman said she is not satisfied with its scope: “I’m not sure that the bill actually satisfies the need to secure the borders.”

The DFL Party, in a statement, responded quickly to her candidacy, accusing Ortman of raising state property taxes.

“Minnesotans won’t forget that it was Ortman who led the charge to cut property taxes for big corporations while raising property taxes for middle-class families,” said DFL Party Chair Ken Martin.

Ortman responded that Martin didn’t have his facts correct.

She made her announcement flanked by her husband, Ray, and sons William and Sam. She also has a daughter living in Alaska and a son in the military.  Pfc. Raymond Ortman, she said, is  “a very good reason and motivation for running.” 

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Sean Olsen on 08/05/2013 - 09:39 am.


    If only there were a way to evaluate whether Martin or Ortman were correct…

    Like looking at the Tax Incidence Studies the Revenue Department did on the various versions of the Omnibus Tax Bills during Republican control of the Legislature in 2011, maybe?

    In fact, ALL of those studies showed higher increases in the tax burden on lower- and middle-income taxpayers driven by changes in property tax law, most specifically cuts to the Renters Tax Credit and cuts to local government aid.

  2. Submitted by Rod Loper on 08/06/2013 - 06:35 am.

    Torpedoing Ellen Anderson as PUC Chair

    while a leader of the Republican senate majority helped pave the way for
    electricity rate increases and cost overruns at the Monticello nuclear plant.
    This really is helping the middle class and the advancement of women in

  3. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 08/06/2013 - 07:41 am.


    Judging from her stated agenda, the other candidates look like they would make better challengers for Dayton. All of them though are continuing the same old REpublican strategy: gubmint is bad, but we want to lead it into the ground. Subsidies are bad for the poor, but good for my corporate clients. And she wants to give the appearance that she’s doing something on immigration by building a fence, even though it does absolutely nothing to address the issue.

  4. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 08/06/2013 - 10:56 am.

    As one of her constituents…

    ….my comment is “Who?”. Just an absolute failure is both productivity and leadership.

  5. Submitted by Eric Snyder on 08/07/2013 - 05:47 pm.

    Journalists – Please start asking this

    Dear Ms. Ortman: Do you accept the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change?

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