Republican Ortman, mulling U.S. Senate bid, to announce plans

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Republican State Sen. Julianne Ortman, reportedly ready to mount a campaign against DFL U.S. Sen. Al Franken, plans to announce her political plans on Saturday in Waconia, the Associated Press reports. She'd be the third Republican to launch a campaign if she joined the race.

Ortman represents Carver County; she began serving in the state Senate in 2002, and is chairwoman of the Taxes Committee.

Two other Republicans are challenging Franken. Business executive Mike McFadden said last month that he had raised more than $700,000.

Eight-term Republican state Rep. Jim Abeler from Anoka joined the race in June.

Franken raised $1.97 million over the quarter ending in June, almost matching what he brought in during the first three months of 2013. His campaign last month reported having more than $3 million in the bank.

The Associated Press reported last month that thus far, Minnesota's Senate race is not among the top-tier races this cycle.

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