Newest Minnesota Republican in Senate race an old hand

The newest Republican to join Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race ran for the same seat in 1996, when the party deadlocked over a candidate.

Bison farmer Monti Moreno said Thursday he’s launching a campaign to unseat first-term Democratic Sen. Al Franken. He’s the fifth Republican to get in.

Moreno says he’ll run on a platform of fiscal responsibility and is undaunted by the many millions of dollars it would take to be competitive.

Moreno was among the candidates vying to take on Sen. Paul Wellstone in 1996, but the party couldn’t coalesce around one and withheld an endorsement. Eventually a former GOP senator won a primary and lost in November to Wellstone.

Moreno says he doesn’t anticipate running in a primary if another Republican is endorsed at next year’s convention.