MARSHALL?- After a close race for the office of Minnesota Secretary of State in 2010 and losing to incumbent Mark Ritchie, retired U.S. Navy fighter pilot Dan "Doc" Severson is aiming to take the con away from Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
"I believe Klobuchar has lost touch with the economic hardships that people are feeling now," he said.
Severson said his run for the office of Secretary of State was about election integrity.
"If you don't have fair elections, you don't have a republic," he said.
Severson said that what he gleaned from that process was that since the mid-1990s there has been a continual decrease in Republicans in statewide office other than Tim Pawlenty.
"Some of that to me was due to voter fraud but there is also another issue that deals with minority communities. The minority communities in Minnesota since 1990 have grown from 6 percent to 17 percent, so we have started to reach out to some of those communities because they are very strong conservative communities, very family oriented," he said. "I firmly believe that the Republican party, the conservative party, will never win another statewide race unless we reach out to them. The longer they are saddled with these entitlement programs, the harder it will be to reach the goals which they had when they came to America. Regardless of the color of your skin or your ethnic background, you have the opportunity to be a part of the American dream."
Severson is working with local Hispanic leader, Bob Quasius, who heads Caf Con Leche Republicans in Marshall and would like to encourage minority leadership in all cities that have a large minority population.
Originally from Mora, Severson is a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives who represented District 14A, which includes portions of Benton and Stearns counties in the north central part of the state. In addition, he retired as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot after 22 years and is a business owner and substitute teacher.
"I believe I have the necessary qualifications to run against Klobuchar," he said. "I'm the only one doing the outreach. I'm a strong conservative, both social and fiscal."
"She gets a lot of her funding from large corporations, from outside the state," he added. "Ninety-seven percent of ours has been from inside the state, from grassroots contributions. If we're thinking this is going to be a spending war and whoever has the dollars wins, we don't have a chance."
Severson cites the recent campaign of Rep. Chip Cravaack win against incumbent Jim Oberstar as an example of someone who successfully ran against someone with superior funding.
Severson said he has held positions of leadership in business and in the military and "there is a lack of leadership in Washington. There will be hard solutions to our problems. It's not going to be easy. I want to fix the problem, not be part of the problem."