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The Capitol Note: GOP Sen. Torrey Westrom to run for Congress

DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson finally has a strong Republican challenger in the 1st Congressional District. Today, state Sen. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, will make his candidacy official, following months of rumors about Westrom's interest in challenging the Democratic incumbent. Westrom is in his first term in the Senate, and won election to the upper chamber in 2012 following seven terms in the House.

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MAPE endorses Dayton, Otto and Swanson for re-election

The union endorsed the three Democratic constitutional officers on Wednesday, almost one year ahead of election day. Currently six Republicans are vying to take on Dayton in his bid for a second term, and Otto has a Republican challenger in businessman Randy Gilbert. There are no announced candidates yet to challenge Swanson in 2014.

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Otto’s mining move riles Rangers

Otto shook up both her role as state auditor and her campaign for re-election last month when she cast the lone “no” vote as the state’s Executive Council took up 31 exploratory nonferrous mining leases in northeastern Minnesota. The leases went ahead anyway, but in voting against them, Otto became the first statewide elected official to express concern about the state’s move toward the new process of nonferrous mining

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Auditor report details special district finances

The Office of the State Auditor has released its analysis of the finances of more than 550 special governmental districts that range from the Metropolitan Council to local watershed districts. As has been the case in the past, the report that covers 2011 shows that the special districts overall spend more than they take in. But the Auditor Rebecca Auditor cautioned that the overall numbers can’t easily be rendered as a blanket statement on the finances of all of the state’s special districts.

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