SAINT PAUL, Minn., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Former "Saturday Night Live" cast-member and satirist Al Franken is trying to convince voters in Minnesota he is a serious contender for U.S. Senate.
Franken announced in February his candidacy as a Democratic contender for the U.S. senate seat now held by first-term Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, who many see as one of the most vulnerable national incumbents, The New York Times reports.
Franken is in a competitive race for Coleman's seat with Mike Ciresi, a lawyer who has run for the job previously.
Franken lobbies potential voters to support his claim the former comedian is a serious contender, arguing his political commentary as of late offers credibility.
Franken and Ciresi are both impressive fundraisers, raising $1.89 million and $1.7 million, respectively, the Times said.
Critics oppose Franken's past vitriolic dissertations, however. Ron Carey, the chairman of the Minnesota GOP, said, "So much of what he has said is vile and offensive -- you can't even quote it."
Franken's campaign rhetoric, however, seems to be more peppered with less comic relief and more political rhetoric.
"As you go around Minnesota, I hear from people. I hear about their lives. And they're anxious about the future," he said at a recent event.