IP won’t back U.S. Senate candidate

The Independence Party of Minnesota will not formally back a U.S. candidate in 2012, and will instead focus its efforts on a handful of legislative candidates.

Party Chairman Mark Jenkins said he cannot prohibit someone from running under the IP banner, but he said the party has no plans to recruit, endorse or provide financial support to a candidate. Jenkins said he thinks the Independence Party is poised to win some legislative seats for the first time, and that’s his priority as chairman. He said the party doesn’t have the resources right now to also run a U.S. Senate candidate.

“My hope is that in 2014 then maybe we have the resources to support both a statewide governors race and a slew of state legislative races,” Jenkins said. “But I mean it’s no secret that there are some areas of the state where we’re a little thin, and we need to built that up. I want that to be our focus.”

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar is running for a second term next year. So far, two Republican challengers have stepped forward.

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