Rep. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) is sticking with his plan to challenge U.S. Sen. Al Franken in the 2014 election.
Tuesday Abeler publicly reinforced his commitment to the U.S. Senate race, saying he won’t run again for the House seat he has held for eight terms.
“I have tackled as many problems as I can in Minnesota, but for us to move forward as a state, greater challenges need to be tackled in Washington, DC,” Abeler said in a statement Tuesday.
During his 16-year tenure at the legislature, Abeler has been especially active in the areas of health and human services. He served as chairman of the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee in 2011-2012.
Abeler has put his support for the local House seat behind Abigail Whelan, who was endorsed by District 35A Republicans last month.
“It’s important we have a fresh face in the Republican Party and time millennials start taking their place in state government,” Abeler said.
Along with Abeler, Repubicans also seeking the U.S. Senate seat held by Franken include businessman Mike McFadden, State Rep. Julianne Ortman and St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg.
Abeler said if he did not receive the Republican endorsement, he would likely run in a primary.