Clark announces challenge to Cravaack


Tarryl Clark is the first member of the Democratic Farmer Labor party to announce her plan to run against freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack in the 8th Congressional District.

Clark wasn’t able to beat U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, but she’s hoping that with some help from her friends and allies she can oust Cravaack. Clark told the Duluth News Tribune that she’s moving from the 6th to the 8th in part to protect Social Security and Medicare. She also suggested the Republican majority in Congress isn’t doing enough to create jobs.

Clark’s 2010 challenge to Bachmann became the most expensive house race in the nation. In that race she was able to raise $5 million in campaign fund, well behind Bachmann, who raised $13 million.

In part, Clark’s ability to raise money in that contest was boosted by Bachmann’s polarizing rhetoric. Cravaack isn’t likely to generate that level of national opposition, but some outside groups have already spent money to help defeat the first-term representative.

Derek Wallbank breaks down the numbers at MinnPost:

Cravaack instantly became a top national target after just knocking off long-time U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar by less than 5,000 votes in a district that had previously been represented by a Democrat since 1947. Since Jan. 1, more than $160,000 in outside money has been spent on political advertising in the district.

MPR’s Rupa Shenoy asked Clark to address why she thinks she’s suited to represent people from the Arrowhead and Iron Range.

The Duluth News Tribune indicates that Clark could face a crowded primary with several potential candidates that have yet to announce their intention. “They include Duluth City Councilor Jeff Anderson; Duluth resident Daniel Fanning, the deputy state director for U.S. Sen. Al Franken; state Rep. Kerry Gauthier of Duluth; state Rep. John Ward of Brainerd; former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan of Brainerd; Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon; and former state Rep. Tim Faust of Mora.”

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Read the full opening arguments, then have your say.

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