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U.S. Senate race: Dahlberg criticizes fellow Republican McFadden

Chris Dahlberg

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chris Dahlberg today criticized one of his Republican challengers, calling St. Paul businessman Mike McFadden evasive on key issues.

Dahlberg accused McFadden, who is far and away the leader among Republican candidates in terms of fundraising, of evading questions on key issues important to Republicans.

Dahlberg and McFadden are facing each other and five other Republicans in the race, including state Sen. Julianne Ortman of Chanhassen and state Rep. Jim Abeler of Anoka.David Carlson, a former U.S. Marine who also ran in 2012, announced last month that he will run in the Aug. 12 Republican primary. Former Army chaplain Harold Shudlick and bison farmer Monti Moreno also are in the race.

Whichever candidate emerges as the winner in August will take on DFL incumbent Al Franken.

“I’ve been stunned by (McFadden’s) disregard for the intelligence of the people in our state,’’ Dahlberg said at a state Capitol press conference Thursday. “He has consistently been unwilling, or unable, to answer even the simplest questions about where he stands on issues.”

Dahlberg – a St. Louis County Commissioner representing western Duluth -- noted that he has made it clear, for example, that he favors complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and that he is an unequivocal supporter of gun owner rights. In addition to ardent pro-life and anti-gay marriage stands, Dahlberg said he was “strongly opposed to any bill giving amnesty to undocumented immigrants currently in the United States without first having secured our nation’s borders.”

McFadden’s campaign team fired back that Dahlberg was breaking Ronald Reagan’s Republican golden rule by beating up on his own party’s candidates.

“What our campaign has heard from delegates is that they are sick and tired of Republican candidates beating each other up. We’re focused on defeating Sen. Franken, and we’d encourage the other Republican candidates to do the same,’’ Tom Erickson, a McFadden spokesman, said in a statement to the News Tribune.

Dahlberg and Ortman have said they will abide by the late May state party convention endorsement, dropping out if they don’t win. But McFadden, Abeler and some others are expected to battle the endorsed candidate in an August party primary.

McFadden’s campaign reported raising $600,000 during the first quarter of 2014, compared to $375,000 for Ortman, $44,375 for Dahlberg and $27,670 for Abeler. Franken reported $2.7 million raised during the first three months of the year.