Angie Craig Fends Off GOP Challenger in Minnesota
Angela Craig, former congresswoman and U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs under Bush, has scored an upset victory in the Republican runoff for a Minnesota Congressional seat, upsetting a local GOP activist who had been viewed as a serious threat to GOP dominance in the November elections.
“I am so encouraged to feel inspired to serve my country and those who serve my country,” Craig told the Huffington Post.
Craig received 36,000 votes to 32,000 for Paul Anderson, and will face Democratic candidate Al Franken in November.
Franken, who is an actor and comedian, ran as the Republican nominee for the seat against Craig, who served as the first female director of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Democratic nominee, Rep. Collin Peterson, could not compete for the seat because he is running for re-election in a state where the incumbent Republican is popular.
“I’m confident in my ability to bring people together and get the job done,” Craig said. “This is a race where both sides are on the ballot but you’ve got to show up in the end.”
The Democrats’ presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, has supported Craig’s candidacy.
The election was the first in which candidates ran in an open primary against each other. Open primaries are an attempt to encourage voters to vote in the primaries rather than the general election. In Minnesota, the open primary was adopted by the Republican Party after their nominee, Tommy Thompson, was unable to obtain enough candidates in the closed primary because of widespread fraud, absentee ballots and other misdeeds, and the open primary gives candidates more freedom to campaign.
“My campaign has raised over $7 million in donations, and we have over 200 employees and contractors on the ground with campaigns in Minnesota as well as other states,” Craig stated.
“So we’ve been able to raise a lot of money and spend it wherever we