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Associated Press, Published June 06 2012

Minn. 3rd party gets contested Senate primary

MINNEAPOLIS — Two candidates are vying to run for the U.S. Senate representing Minnesota's Independence Party.

Glen Menze and Stephen Williams have both filed for the seat. But party chairman Mark Jenkins says the IP is focused on state legislative races this year and neither Senate candidate should expect help.

The IP has been a major party in Minnesota since 1994 but its only statewide success was Jesse Ventura's 1998 win in the governor's race. Still, its candidates have influenced numerous statewide races for governor and U.S. senator in recent years.

Both Menze and Williams say they'll run in the August Senate primary. Whoever wins will advance to the general election against the likely Democratic and Republican candidates: incumbent Sen. Amy Klobuchar and GOP challenger Kurt Bills.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.