Ken Martin to run again to lead Minnesota Democrats

November 9, 2018 GMT

Ken Martin, the chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, said Thursday that he would seek the job again after leading through a successful election year.

Martin, who is recognized by Democratic operatives around the country for running a well-funded, well-organized state party, was challenged for the DFL chairman job two years ago, after a disappointing election cycle in 2016. Hillary Clinton barely won the state, and the party lost control of the state Senate.

Tuesdays election results brought redemption, with the partys statewide slate winning every race. Among other wins, the DFL played a big role in helping Keith Ellison come back from a scandal to win the attorney generals race, with a furious volley of attacks against his opponent Doug Wardlow.

Democrats also took control of the Minnesota House with a sweeping victory in the suburbs, and ousted two Republican congressmen.

When I ran for re-election two years ago, I said I had two goals to elect a DFLer as governor and to defeat Donald Trump in 2020. One down one to go, Martin said in a news release. He was first elected to lead the party in 2011, and is now the DFLs longest-serving chair.

Martin said hes already begun to receive calls from national Democrats considering a run for the presidency and seeking his advice, though he wouldnt say which ones.

The 2020 election cycle will be another busy one. U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, who won a special election Tuesday to fill out the term of Al Franken, will run for a full six-year term. Republicans are likely to try to defeat freshmen U.S. Reps. Angie Craig and Dean Phillips in their suburban districts. Democrats will try to topple new Republican Reps. Pete Stauber in northeast Minnesota and Jim Hagedorn in southern Minnesota. Both the Minnesota House and Senate will also be on the ballot.

And, before Tuesday, Trump had repeatedly cited Minnesota as a 2020 pickup prospect after he narrowly lost the state in 2016.

J. Patrick Coolican 651-925-5042