West metro Republican launches campaign challenging Klobuchar for Senate seat

West metro Republican launches campaign challenging Klobuchar for Senate seat

Retired Navy Cmdr. Joe Fraser plans a statewide tour in the next couple of days to announce his candidacy as a Republican seeking to challenge Amy Klobuchar for the U.S. Senate this fall.

“Service has always been something important to me,” Fraser said in an interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. “I see this as a referendum on change in the chamber.”

Klobuchar, the Democratic incumbent, would be seeking her fourth term in the Senate representing Minnesota.

Fraser spent 26 years as a commissioned intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy, including assignments in Europe, the Far East and the Middle East, according to the campaign.

In the years since, the Minnetrista husband and father has worked as an executive in the banking industry.

Getting government spending under control in Washington is a priority for Fraser, along with protecting mining opportunities in the state.

“We should be making the investments in Minnesota in the ability for us to harvest natural resources that we have, to protect our supply chain, to create jobs,” Fraser said.

Focusing resources on immigration on the southern border is another one of Fraser’s goals if elected to Washington.

“This country was built on immigrants, and we want to bring in those people in safely and securely,” Fraser said. “And make sure the people who are coming in are the ones that are going to contribute to the betterment of society and not the criminals coming in.”

Candidate filing for federal races opens later this spring in Minnesota.

“She also has a lot of money,” said Hamline University political science professor David Schultz about Klobuchar’s campaign.

Money is a hurdle, Schultz said, for any Republican challenger in the race.

“He’s (Fraser) going to have to prove himself very quickly — and raise money and challenge her — otherwise he may not get the support that he needs from national donors,” Schultz said.

Up until this point, Republicans haven’t jumped up to run, according to Larry Jacobs, a political expert who teaches at the University of Minnesota.

“Mr. Fraser sounds impressive — war vet, banker, from the suburbs — which is a critical battleground in Minnesota,” Jacobs said. “The barrier is big. That’s one of the reasons we haven’t seen prominent Republicans stepping in against Amy Klobuchar.”

Klobuchar received just over 60% of the total vote in 2018 in the race for U.S. Senator, according to the Office of the Secretary of State.