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McFadden wins Republican U.S. Senate nod

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Well-financed Mike McFadden won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Tuesday's Minnesota primary election, and is set to face U.S. Sen. Al Franken in the Nov. 4 election.

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The secretary of state's office reported that McFadden received 75 percent of the vote with about 15 percent counted.

McFadden, a Sunfish Lake businessman, raised $1.1 million in the three months leading up to the election, aided by national Republican activists getting on his side. However, Franken's campaign said he raised about three times that. As of June 30, Franken had $5 million in the bank while McFadden reported $2 million.

A Franken-McFadden match-up has drawn national attention, especially since Franken won by only 312 votes in the 2008 election against then-Sen. Norm Coleman. Franken last week said that because of that close race, which required months of a recount and a court case, every section of the state is important.

In his first political run, McFadden, 49, surprised many Republicans by winning the party's endorsement at its May convention.

He and Franken will show the two sides of the political spectrum in the fall campaign. McFadden is conservative and wants to see less government involvement in Americans' lives. Franken generally votes with fellow Democrats, and holds mostly liberal views.

McFadden did not campaign against four other Republicans on the primary ballot.

"I don't mention other Republican candidates," McFadden said. "I'm running against Al Franken."

Finishing second in the GOP contest was state Rep. Jim Abeler of Anoka, who brought 16 years of state House experience to the race, but had little money. Three other Republican candidates -- David Carlson of Woodbury, Patrick Munro of Princeton and Ole Savior of Minneapolis -- were not factors.

Sandra Henningsgard, an unknown candidate, challenged Franken but found little support.

In the Independence Party, Tom Books, Steve Carlson, Jack Shepard, Kevin Terrell and Stephen Williams were still competing in a tight race as of 9:30 p.m.

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