Another Minn. Republican lines up to challenge Franken

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The fifth Minnesota Republican to join the race for U.S. Senate is running for the second time, the Associated Press reports.

Monti Moreno, a former hair salon owner and bison farmer living in Marine on St. Croix, first ran for the seat in 1996 against the late Sen. Paul Wellstone. He eventually lost in the primary to GOP Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, who was later defeated by Wellstone.

The Associated Press said during that election, the Republicans couldn't "coalesce" at the state convention and withheld an endorsement.

But according to a 1996 MPR profile, some political observers said Moreno was to blame for dividing the party by helping to block the expected endorsement of U.S. Senate candidate Bert McKasy. It was also reported that Moreno bashed gays and lesbians during his convention floor speech, MPR said.

Moreno told the Associated Press that he’ll run in 2014 on a platform of fiscal responsibility, highlighting the steady upward creep of the national debt.

The four other Republicans running are St. Louis County Board Chairman Chris Dahlberg, businessman Mike McFadden, state Sen. Julianne Ortman and state Rep. Jim Abeler.

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