Thirty-one-year-old Iraq veteran Pete Hegseth has entered the race against Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and already among the GOP grassroots, “there’s excitement about him,” says Ted Lovdahl, chairman of the Minnesota Republican party in the 8th Congressional District.
Although Hegseth returned from a tour in Afghanistan only last month, his candidacy is attracting interest. A few weeks ago, before Hegseth had even announced his candidacy, he nearly tied Dan Severson, another candidate for the Republican nomination who had been campaigning for months, in a straw poll by Lovdahl’s “basic political organizational unit” — the smallest level of political grouping in Minnesota.
Lovdahl adds: “I’m seeing the type of excitement with Pete Hegseth that I saw with Chip Cravaak,” the Republican congressman from the 8th District.
“Pete has brought a significant amount of energy and enthusiasm to the campaign,” writes Brian McClung, a former Tim Pawlenty spokesman, who is neutral in the primary race, in an email to NRO. “He’s articulate, smart, and focused, and his recent service in Afghanistan shows he’s willing to live his values and walk the walk. . . . He should make a strong bid for the GOP endorsement.”