Marine combat vet launches Republican primary campaign against Kurt Bills

IMG_1040.JPG (David Carlson officially kicked off his campaign on the steps of the State Capitol MPR Photo/Tom Scheck)

David Carlson says he’s challenging the Republican-endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate because he thinks State Representative Kurt Bills’ tie to Ron Paul will make Bills unelectable in a general election.

In 2008, Carlson had the Republican endorsement in the state house race in district 67-B, but lost.

In a news release announcing his U.S. Senate campaign, Carlson stated that he thinks Bills is the wrong candidate for Minnesota Republicans.

“I wholeheartedly believe that if we nominate Kurt Bills to represent the Republican Party, leading the state ballot, his radical affiliation with Ron Paul will crush any chances the Republican Party has of maintaining the Minnesota State House and State Senate,” stated Carlson.

Carlson, 30 years old, planned a Friday morning State Capitol news conference to talk about his campaign.

Minnesota Republicans endorsed Kurt Bills at their state convention in St. Cloud on May 18, 2012. Texas Congressman and GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul backed Bills over Republicans Dan Severson and Pete Hegseth who were also seeking the endorsement. Severson and Hegseth ended their campaigns.

The Bills campaign said it had “no comment” on Carlson’s primary challenge.

According to information on the Minnesota Secretary of State website, Carlson filed his campaign papers on June, 5.

The winner of the Republican primary will run against DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar in the November general election.

You can listen to Carlson’s speech here:

MPR’s Tom Scheck contributed to this report.


At a campaign stop in Rosemount Kurt Bills didn’t sound too concerned about the primary challenge.

“I have never met David Carlson. I’m sorry I don’t really know who he is. I’ll have to look into him, we’ll investigate, but I’m a Kurt Bills Republican and that’s who were going to go out and talk to Minnesota about,” Bills said. “And once they get to know me, they’re going to vote for me in November. I just know it.”

  • Jim Shapiro

    I would be interested to hear then how Carlson rationalizes Paul’s supporters sending at least 32 of 40 delegates to the convention.

  • adam

    I think someone should ask him what business he owns. Registering an LLC and owning a business are two very different things.

  • Elizabeth

    to Jim- When referring to the delegates Carlson says “I witnessed firsthand the extremely calculated, effective, and efficient takeover of the Republican Party of Minnesota by diehard supporters of Congressman Ron Paul.” Being organized enough to win a party nomination in a flawed delegate system doesn’t mean that the candidate represents an accurate picture of a party or viability to win a general election. I first heard Carlson speak at a Tea Party rally in 2010. At the time I hoped he would run for office and I’m pleased to see that he is willing to fight. As a Minnesota Republican I will be voting for a Democrat come November if Kurt Bills wins the primary. He is a Ron Paul surrogate and completely out of step with the average Republican due to his radical policies.

  • Jim Bendtsen

    Elizabeth: Kurt Bills is EXACTLY what the Republican party should be. Fiscal responsibility, much less government intrusion in every area of citizen’s lives and right to life are the core and foundation of Kurt Bills. If you consider those “radical” policies, then you are neither a Republican nor Tea Party supporter. Admitting that truth is the first step on the path to a happier life for yourself with one less delusion. I wish you luck.

  • Elizabeth

    Jim B- Time out! If Kurt Bills (aka Ron Paul’s mouthpiece) had his way the 14th and 15th Amendments and public schools wouldn’t exist. He wants to close 1/3 of global military bases leaving us vulnerable for attack. He also has given three different answers on Israel. Where is the criticism for going from no foreign aid to supporting foreign aid? Three different answers is standing on principles? I realize that the fan club meetings don’t encourage individual thoughts but our country is too important to just blindly drink the Kool-Aid. Unless I missed the part where the Republican party decided that freedom and equality were overrated and cliche then I’m not out of line. There is a difference between being fiscally conservative and idealistic; just as there is a difference between a Ron Paul lackey and a free thinking patriot.

  • Josh B.

    Really guys? You don’t want a fiscal conservative to run for office because he has ties to Paul? There are some ideas that I don’t like about Paul. His fiscal side is not one of them. We should embrace folks like Kurt Bill’s for trying to bring fiscal sanity back to the US of A.

    For the Ron Paul haters. If you actually took a history lesson on the roots of being a conservative you’d find out that Paul’s views are significantly more in line with what they used to be than what they currently are. This “kooky” idea that we should have economic and governmental restraint, declared wars and follow the constitution seem like pretty good ideas to me.

    Oh and I’ve been a long time conservative (what used to be a republican). Republicans used to be conservative. Now they’re just content with being to the right of the Democrats.