Former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter on Wednesday announced that he’s considering running for Al Franken’s old Senate seat.
Minneapolis’ Star Tribune reported Wednesday that Painter, a never-Trump Republican fixture on the cable news circuit, is building an exploratory committee to weigh a possible run. He’s still unsure if he’ll run as a Republican, Democrat or independent.
“I need to think about whether there’s a place for me” in the GOP, Painter said during a news conference in the state’s capitol. “I’m going to be considering any and all options.”
The seat is currently occupied by Democrat Tina Smith, who was appointed to it after Franken resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal last year. Currently, only one Republican, state Sen. Karin Housley, is running — and she and Painter appear to have bad blood between them.
Earlier this month, Painter revealed Housley had blocked him on Twitter, saying “she’s upset that I asked her to talk about serious issues rather than blame 20 minute lines at DMV on her opponent Tina Smith.”
“That wait at DMV is 20 minutes more than it takes to register an AR-15,” the former White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush said, continuing his criticism of his potential opponent.
Minnesota U.S. Senate candidate Karin Housley blocked me on Twitter. She’s upset that I asked her to talk about serious issues rather than blame 20 minute lines at DMV on her opponent Tina Smith. For example that wait at DMV is 20 minutes more than it takes to register an AR-15.
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) March 3, 2018