In race for Franken's US Senate seat, Ortman gets a Palin boost

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Julianne Ortman is one of at least seven Republican candidates running against first-term U.S. Sen. Al Franken in this fall's election.

But Ortman, the four-term state Senator from Chanhassen, is the only one getting an assist from the spokeswoman of hockey moms herself: Sarah Palin.

The 50-year-old former governor of Alaska and former vice presidential candidate publicly threw her support behind Ortman in a post on her Facebook page.

Post by Sarah Palin.

In the post, Palin lauds Ortman's experience with small business, highlights her work as the first female head of the Senate tax committee and calls her "a fighter for life and for our Second Amendment rights."

According to the Star Tribune, Ortman said of the endorsement, "I’ve long admired Sarah Palin’s courage, composure and conviction. So you can imagine how thrilled and grateful I was when she answered my request and decided to endorse me."

She also wrote the following on her Facebook page: " ... let me just say how honored I am to have [Palin] on our side as we fight to defeat Al Franken!"

Palin in her post also lampoons Franken's previous career as a comedian, and notes his voting record falls completely in line with President Barack Obama's.

"Let’s give voters a contrast this fall: a clown vs. a Mama Grizzly, an Obama 100 Percenter vs. a Blue Star Mom, a talker vs. a doer, and a liberal Obama rubber stamp legislator vs. a proven conservative fighter," she writes. "Julianne Ortman is the choice. She is good enough, she is smart enough, and doggone it, people like her!"

Ortman was widely seen as one of the top two candidates to go after Franken, the other being businessman Mike McFadden. But in a recent article, MinnPost said that seemed to be changing – McFadden appeared to be picking up steam.

The site says interviews with various "sharp political thinkers" found not one person (aside from those in the Ortman campaign) who believed Ortman would be on the ballot; nor did any of them think McFadden wouldn't be on the ballot.

Just before that article ran, a straw poll conducted during precinct caucuses showed Ortman with a solid lead though, Politics in Minnesota reported. Ortman grabbed 31 percent of the nonbinding poll; McFadden came in with 23 percent. Ortman has said she plans to abide by the party endorsement when that's decided later this year, the site notes.

MPR says Ortman is way behind in the money race. She's brought in $237,000 for her campaign, as of her last Federal Election Commission filing, the site says. McFadden had nearly $1.5 in the bank by the end of 2013. And many national Republicans have thrown their support behind Mike McFadden.

Stack Ortman up against the incumbent Franken too, and things get dicey for the Republican. Ortman trailed Franken by 8 percentage points in a poll earlier this month, 49 percent to 41 percent. McFadden was a bit further behind, tallying 40 percent to Franken's 50 percent.

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