WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Minnesota Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy announced Friday he will run for U.S. Senate, just days after incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Dayton quit the race.
Kennedy, who has long been expected to make the race regardless of what Dayton did, is now the second Republican in what may become a crowded GOP field. Former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams, who lost to Dayton in 2000, has already said he would be a candidate. "I believe Minnesota deserves two senators that are working for them," Kennedy, who is not a member of the famed Democrat dynasty said.
U.S. Rep. Gil Gutknecht and Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer have also been named as possible candidates, but it is not clear if they'll join the race with Kennedy now on the ticket, Minneapolis television's KARE said.
Kennedy already has the backing of the White House for the race as well as the support of Minnesota GOP Sen. Norm Coleman.