Activist Sorensen joins Minnesota 8th District race

Soren C. Sorensen

Yesterday, Minnesota media reported on numerous tales of political intrigue as the state and federal candidate filing period closed.

Here in the North, we learned that we’d have an unexpected Republican primary in the Eighth Congressional District, but we also got another candidate in the crowded DFL primary.

Progressive activist Soren C. Sorensen of Bemidji filed to run for Congress. Sorensen announced his campaign on social media, but hasn’t issued a major statement yet.

With no campaign committee yet, Sorensen’s late entry most likely indicates a campaign designed to highlight issues or a message rather than win outright. But he is well known among many progressives. Sorensen seems a fixture at political and policy events. (And an occasional commenter here at MinnesotaBrown). So he becomes a plausible choice for environmental and progressive voters who don’t like their options.

This means we have five DFLers and two Republicans running for Congress in the Eighth District.

Among the DFLers, candidates include Kirsten Kennedy, Michelle Lee, Jason Metsa, Joe Radinovich and Sorensen.

Republicans include Pete Stauber and Harry Welty.

Ray “Skip” Sandman filed to run as an Independence Party candidate. We now wait to see if the state verifies his petition signatures, or if any other third party candidates filed. That could take a few days.

You can follow the race for Congress at my Eighth District special coverage page.


  1. Hello Aaron and readers of Minnesota Brown!

    I apologize for not making a a major formal announcement about entering the MN08 race. I did create a campaign committee and registered with the FEC in advance of filing, and I am prepared to raise and spend money from small dollar donors in district to conduct a campaign that will engage voters across the district in a combination of internet, earned media and direct voter contact.

    As you likely know I was fully committed to a MN State House campaign at the time Representative Nolan dropped out of the race, clearing the path to a likely Leah Phifer endorsement in Duluth. I had several conversations with Leah before the Beltrami County DFL convention, and I told her she would win my support if she made it to Duluth with more delegates than any other candidate, but at the time I supported Nolan for his track record of standing up to the NRA, championing a single payer national health program, his efforts to reverse the Citizens United decision, etc. In the end, I was not a delegate to the CD 8 and State Convention, and like yourself, covered that convention for my indy media channels on YouTube and DailyKos.

    I chose to enter the CD 8 race because I wanted to abide by the endorsement and the formal challenges I filed for the failures of the DFL process vs. SD2 DFL leadership have not yet fully worked themselves out. In many ways, as a peace activist, conservationist, and advocate for federal anti-poverty programs, U.S. House is a better fit than MN State House.

    So far I have enjoyed appearing in a DFL Forum in Koochiching County, being the only MN08 candidate to speak at the Hubbard County DFL Walleye Dinner and direct voter contact at doors in Blackduck. I am already campaigning vigorously and expect that my candidacy will amount to more than just a way for frustrated DFLers to signal frustration with the conservative and illiberal policies of both Northwoods DFL establishment types and the Trump administration.

    Please look forward to a major statement in the coming days!

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