Franken hires a campaign manager

DFL Sen. Al Franken has hired Matt Burgess, who most recently managed Democrat Maggie Hassan’s successful campaign for governor in New Hampshire. Hassan is the only Democratic female governor in the nation.

Burgess also worked in the political department of EMILY’s List, a group that works to elect Democratic women to office, and the Service Employees International Union.

“I’m very excited to have Matt join our team,” said Sen. Franken in a statement. “He has a wealth of experience that will help us build a strong grassroots campaign and also allow me to keep my focus on the best job I’ve ever had: serving Minnesotans and fighting for our values in Washington.”

Burgess will manage a campaign of a candidate who won a razor thin recount in 2008 but at least so far has no viable Republican opponent lining up to run against him. Just this week political handicapper Stu Rothenberg ranked Franken’s race as “Safe Democrat” because he has no challenger.

That’s a tricky balancing act, since donors and the party faithful may get complacent heading into 2014.

Burgess said in a statement that he was looking to build on the the campaign’s infrastructure.

“I’m honored to help build on an already-strong grassroots organization to re-elect Senator Franken in 2014,” Burgess said.

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, U.S. Rep. John Kline, state Sen. Julie Rosen and conservative radio talk show host Jason Lewis have all been mentioned as possible candidates to challenge Franken in 2014. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann also didn’t rule out a run when asked by reporters last week whether she was interested in challenging Franken.