Jason Lewis announces run for Tina Smith's U.S. Senate seat

The former 2nd District congressman is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump.

As settings go for announcing political runs, it doesn't get more Minnesotan than the State Fair.

Jason Lewis used the Great Minnesota Get-Together as the venue for announcing he will run for the Republican ticket to challenge Sen. Tina Smith for her seat in 2020.

Lewis is the former congressman for Minnesota's 2nd District, covering an area to the southeast of the Twin Cities, including some south metro suburbs, but lost the seat he won in 2016 after just one term, with DFLer Angie Craig winning in the 2018 mid-terms.

A staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, Politico described the former radio host as Trump's "mini-me" in an article published Thursday, noting he's part of Trump's strategy to ramp up rural turnout in an effort to offset expected losses in urban and suburban areas.

In front of a "Trump 2020" sign at the MinnesotaGOP State Fair stall, Lewis announced his candidacy, and made the focus of his attack not primarily Smith, but 5th District Rep. Ilhan Omar.

He accused Omar of leading a "radical political movement," and described Smith as a "foot soldier" who is "marching in lockstep behind her."

"I refuse to sit back on the sidelines and watch our state, country, and way of life continue to come under blistering attack from radical politicians like Ilhan Omar and her foot soldier Tina Smith," he said. "I’m going to fight back. That’s why today I am proud to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate."

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Lewis was the subject of controversy during his congressional tenure, with CNN's investigative unit K-File highlighting some of the things he had said during his time on radio, which include demeaning comments about women on public assistance, sexual harassment victims, and gay marriage.

One of his advisers, state Sen. Dave Osmek, told the Up And At 'Em Show podcast that he Lewis will approach the race "with bare knuckles."

"And some Minnesotans may recoil, some Minnesotans may not like it...I just think the time has come for us to have a bare-knuckle brawler," he said.

Next Up

Liam Robbins

Gophers stay perfect at home by crushing 7th-ranked Michigan

Liam Robbins and Marcus Carr were too much for the previously undefeated Wolverines.

police lights

Four teens arrested over robberies in Minneapolis

They teens were found in a vehicle that was taken during an earlier carjacking.

Boundary Waters/BWCA

All BWCA visitors will now have to watch three 'Leave No Trace' videos

Visitors left an "unacceptably high amount" of damage last year.


Ten fatal overdoses in past 6 weeks reported in region of northern MN

Law enforcement agencies have issued a plea to the general public.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Bracing for security threats, federal courthouses closing in Minnesota

Security is also being ramped up at the state capitol.

N95 mask

3M sues Florida company that sold 10K counterfeit N95 masks to HCMC

The Maplewood company has obtained a temporary injunction against the firm.

vaccine, covid

Walz, Whitmer, and Evers call on Trump Admin. to buy more vaccines

It comes after The Washington Post reported that the country's COVID vaccine reserves have been exhausted.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves-Grizzlies game off, KAT tests postive for COVID

The Timberwolves star was among several players that are dealing with COVID-related issues.

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.


Jason Lewis and Tina Smith

AP: Tina Smith beats Jason Lewis in U.S. Senate race

Smith didn't get the same level of votes as Biden, but did enough to beat Lewis.

Jason Lewis' 2011 comments about sex harassment victims under scrutiny

The 2nd District congressman made light of harassment allegations.

Screen Shot 2020-10-05 at 3.13.09 PM

Jason Lewis quarantines again after exposure to COVID-positive person

The Senate candidate had already quarantined for four days after being near President Trump last week.

Karin Housley won't challenge Tina Smith for the Senate. Who might?

The state senator stated Tuesday she would instead seek re-election in her district.

Jason Lewis and Tina Smith

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's Senate race

Incumbent Tina Smith will take on former Congressman Jason Lewis.

Bob Kroll

Police union chief Bob Kroll appears at campaign event for Jason Lewis

The controversial police federation chief lent his support to the Senate candidate.

Former Rep. Jason Lewis blames John McCain for GOP losing the House

Lewis was defeated in Minnesota's 2nd District last week.

Screen Shot 2020-10-05 at 3.13.09 PM

Jason Lewis to return to campaign trail after negative COVID test, 4 days of quarantine

The Senate candidate is one of the GOP politicians who greeted President Trump on his visit to Minnesota.