by Garrett Frisk
Senator Amy Klobuchar is something of an electoral powerhouse in the state of Minnesota. In her 2018 re-election campaign, she took 60.3% of the vote in the general election, winning every congressional district in the state; in the simultaneous special election for Minnesota's other Senate seat, Democratic nominee Tina Smith took only 53.0% of the vote. Even though Klobuchar's 2020 presidential campaign was a failure, her electoral strength in her home state is hard to doubt; with this in mind, it's not difficult to see why no prominent Republicans have announced they'll run against Klobuchar in 2024 or even expressed interest in doing so. However, there are two lesser-known Republicans who have announced they'll take the plunge and take on Klobuchar.
The first is John Berman, an engineer who has run for U.S. Senate in three different states. In 2020, Berman in the Republican Senate primaries in both Minnesota and Kansas; he polled 6.6% of the vote in the former primary and 0.2% in the latter. He then ran in the general election in Minnesota as a write-in candidate, receiving 2 votes. In 2022, he attempted to run in three states' Republican Senate primaries: New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wisconsin. However, he only reached the ballot in the former state, winning 0.7% of the vote. Berman's campaigns are part of a movement he calls "Make America Geeky Again," whose goal is to "disable (and ultimately eradicate) the lawyer monopoly." Now, Berman says, his movement "returns to Minnesota against Klobuchar." Berman's campaign website can be found here.
The second is Patrick Munro, who operates a lawn and landscaping services company. Like Berman, Munro is far from a first-time candidate; after losing a Republican primary for state senate in 2010, he ran for U.S. Senate in 2014, taking 2.8% in the primary. Munro then launched three straight primary challenges to Republican U.S. Representative Tom Emmer; his best performance was in 2020, when he polled 12.9% of the vote in the primary. Munro appears to have sat out 2022, but now he's back, and has launched a Senate campaign website for 2024.