U official pulls out of race

by Amy Horst

University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg announced Monday that he will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2006.

In early March, Rotenberg said he was considering a Senate run, but he had not yet made a final decision.

But after a one-month exploratory period, Rotenberg made his decision, saying he would not run because of the “mountains of money” necessary for a campaign.

“Rather than being consumed full time with raising money, I decided to continue my work with University leaders,” Rotenberg said.

He said his family members reacted to his announcement with “some disappointment” when he informed them of his decision during the weekend. They held a 4-1 vote in favor of his running at the breakfast table, in which only he voted against a run.

“But the ‘no’ vote won,” he said.

At the University, reactions to Rotenberg’s announcement were mixed.

Chris Montana, a third-year University political science student and president of the College Democrats of Minnesota, said he has not decided which Democratic

candidate he supports. He said he is still optimistic about the other two main candidates, child-safety advocate Patty Wetterling and Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar.

He said Wetterling and Klobuchar are, like Rotenberg, candidates students can believe in.

“One thing we have the benefit of is, if you get elected in Minnesota, you’re going to be a champion of higher education,” Montana said. “Rotenberg has that, Klobuchar has that and Wetterling has that.”

But Montana said Rotenberg’s decision to drop out for financial reasons shows an “ungodly amount” of money will be spent in the 2006 Senate race.

Tony Richter, College Republicans vice chairman, said he is not concerned about who the Democratic Party runs for Senate.

“They’re not going to win,” he said.

He said he does not think the chances are good for any Democrat running against Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minn., one of Minnesota’s Republican Senate candidates.

“I don’t know too many Democrats in this state that could give him a run for his money,” Richter said.

Rotenberg began considering a Senate run after Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., announced in February that he wouldn’t seek a second Senate term.