State Rep. Jim Abeler says he’s running for U.S. Senate

Rep. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, speaks on the House floor. (MPR Photo/Tom Scheck )

State Rep. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, announced today that he is forming a start-up committee to run in 2014 for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by incumbent Democrat Al Franken.

Minnesota needs a senator who protects personal privacy and liberty and unlocks the “stifling stranglehold the federal government holds on Minnesota,” said Abeler in a press release.

“I am starting this run for U.S. Senate because I believe America is in trouble,” Abeler said. “The personal and religious freedoms that were intended for us by our Founding Fathers are being steadily eroded. Government spending is out of control and unsustainable. Massive debt to foreign countries threatens our sovereignty. Our children and grandchildren are born into a future as indentured debtors of our country’s careless spending. When we are dependent on the government, we are absolutely not free.”

Abeler is a chiropractor serving his eighth term in the Minnesota House. He is currently the Republican lead on the Health and Human Services Finance Committee. He previously chaired the same panel. Abeler sided with House Democrats in 2008 to override then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto of a gas tax increase.

Abeler is the second Republican candidate to enter the race. Mike McFadden, a business executive from Sunfish Lake, announced last month that he was launching a campaign.