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Coleman says he won’t challenge Franken

Don Davis / MN CAPITOL BUREAU - ST. PAUL - Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman will not run for office in 2014, meaning there will be no rematch with Al Franken.

In a series of tweets late Thursday, Coleman said he wants “to mentor a new generation of optimistic, limited government focused leaders who aren’t afraid to find common ground to solve problems.”

Many Republicans had hoped that Coleman would get into the race as Democrat Franken seeks election to a new six-year term next year.

Coleman promised to “focus time and energy helping Minnesota elect senator and governor who support free enterprise, efficient government and seek to bring folks together.”

The Republican former St. Paul mayor and Franken fought through a lengthy recount in 2008. Coleman went on to lead a think tank and later became a Washington lobbyist. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1998.

Coleman’s announcement leaves Republicans looking for a candidate. U.S. Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen have been considered possibilities. They said they will make up their minds later this year.