Kennedy in Willmar to rally support for campaign

WILLMAR -- U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy arrived at Miller Park Wednesday evening to offer details on his 13-point plan "to bring the right kind of change to Washington."...

WILLMAR -- U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy arrived at Miller Park Wednesday evening to offer details on his 13-point plan "to bring the right kind of change to Washington."

As part of a three-day, 13-city tour across Minnesota, Kennedy, the Republican-endorsed candidate for Senate, made his sixth stop on the tour that begin earlier Wednesday in Winona.

Upon arriving in Willmar, Kennedy stepped out of his RV and began exchanging handshakes and embraces with the crowd of around 60 people. Campaign signs were clustered in front of the park's shelter. After introductions, Kennedy wasted little time warming up to the crowd.

"People ask me why I'm running for Senate," he said. "I say I gotta' get Willmar back in my district."

Laughter and cheers erupted from the crowd as Kennedy exchanged several more jokes before leading into his plan.


"Today we're rolling out our plan for the right kind of change," he said.

Kennedy continued, saying that change requires work. He spoke about several other items to include defending the values that make Minnesota great.

"That begins by respecting democracy," Kennedy said.

Protecting the pledge of allegiance, passing legislation that gives Boy Scouts equal access to public buildings and making sure the military is not banned from recruiting on college campuses are some of the goals Kennedy stressed through his plan.

Kennedy said President George W. Bush may have a chance to nominate the next Supreme Court justice, and that Kennedy's vote may be critical in that decision.

Kennedy has been actively campaigning throughout Minnesota, releasing his third TV ad Tuesday. The ad focuses on relieving America's dependence on foreign oil and creating renewable forms of fuel and hybrids.

Kennedy also favors deep-sea exploration for oil to relieve some of the foreign pressures, legislation he says Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton voted against.

The Minnesota DFL Party released a press release Tuesday attacking the ad campaign. According to the release, Kennedy is trying to repeal tax breaks for oil companies that he voted for. The release also alleges that Kennedy has received more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry.


When questioned by the West Central Tribune, Kennedy refuted the numbers saying that over his four political races he has raised more than $11 million. The contributions made by oil companies accounts for less than 1 percent of all the money he has raised.

Kennedy also drew attention to his opponent DFL-endorsed Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar, saying she received $500,000 in 10 months from pro-abortion political network Emily's List.

Kennedy encouraged people to make phone calls and thanked everyone for their support before ending on a bold closing note.

"We are gonna' win this race and we are gonna' have a Senator Kennedy we can all be proud of," he said.

Kennedy continues his tour today in northern Minnesota. The tour wraps up Friday.

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