Democrats endorse Franken for second term

DFL Sen. Al Franken makes his way to the podium at the 2014 DFL state convention in Duluth. Mark Zdechlik/MPR News

Minnesota Democrats  Saturday endorsed Senator Al Franken for a second term at their state convention in Duluth.

Franken joked with delegates that he plans to win by more than the 312 vote margin he won by 2008.

In his speech Franken talked about the importance of investing in education, health care and workforce development. And he asked Minnesotans to work hard for his re-election.

“I am passionate about this job because I have seen how it matters to Minnesotans and I am just getting started,” he said.

Franken defeated incumbent Republican Norm Coleman in 2008 after a month-long recount and legal challenge.

Franken talked about his efforts to make college more affordable, improve health care, and oppose corporate mergers he says stand to hurt consumers.

Franken said he ran initially to give working class families a voice in Washington and that he will continue to side with ordinary Minnesotans.

“This is Minnesotans’ chance to decide,” he said. “Do we want a senator who stands with the Koch brothers and the Wall Street banks or do we want a senator who stands with the middle class? That’s what this election is about.”

Hours before he accepted the DFL endorsement in Duluth, Republicans in Rochester endorsed political newcomer Mike McFadden for U.S. Senate.

At a news conference after his endorsement, Franken declined to say much about McFadden, other than that he expects a tough re-election campaign.