Coleman won't run for governor
Former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman (R) has decided against a run for governor this year, robbing Republicans of their best known -- and most controversial -- potential nominee.
"The timing on this race is both a bit too soon and a bit too late," Coleman said in a statement posted on his Facebook page on Sunday night. "It is too soon after my last race and too late to do a proper job of seeking the support of delegates who will decide in which direction our party should go."
The decision surprised some Coleman insiders who saw his increased level visibility in recent weeks as evidence that he was moving toward -- rather than away from -- a bid.
Without Coleman in the race, the open seat contest to replace retiring Gov. Tim Pawlenty , who is pursuing a run for the Republican presidential nomination, will be a far more low-key affair without any of the national attention that a candidacy by the controversial Coleman would have caused.
Coleman, a former Democrat, is an incredibly divisive figure both in Minnesota and nationally thanks in large part to his extended appeal of his 2008 loss at the hands of Sen. Al Franken (D) -- a process that dragged on for more than six months after election day.
While Coleman is out of the political game for 2010, it's hard to imagine that he has run his last race. At 60 years old, Coleman has the luxury of waiting a few election cycles to repair his image from the bruising 2008 race before wading back into the political game.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) will be up for re-election in 2012 but she is a formidable candidate who would give any Republican -- including Coleman -- pause. The more likely race for Coleman is a 2014 rematch against Franken, which would be, without question, a classic of the genre.`
January 18, 2010; 10:59 AM ET
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