The DFL released a cartoon on Monday morning featuring McFadden's head pasted onto a cartoon chicken. An accompanying press release said this is the third Republican forum McFadden has chosen not to attend and "investment banker Mike McFadden is still a chicken!" On Friday, the DFL sent out what it called a "Chicken a la McFadden recipe."
McFadden's campaign told forum organizers that he had a previous family commitment and could not attend. McFadden's spokesman Tom Erickson said the candidate plans to participate in the Freedom Club's U.S. Senate debate on Feb. 10. His response to the DFL attacks about McFadden's decision not to attend the Rochester event?
"Mike McFadden isn't running against other Republicans. He is running against Al Franken," Erickson said.
McFadden has established himself as a front runner in the race thanks to hefty fundraising hauls. Last week, his campaign announced he has $1.7 million in cash-on-hand and raised $780,000 during the fourth quarter of 2013.
Five other GOP candidates are planning to attend Thursday's forum. They are state Rep. Jim Abeler, St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg, state Sen. Julianne Ortman, activist Phillip Parrish and activist Harold Shudlick. The forum will be at 7 p.m. at the Eagles Club, 917 15th Ave. S.E. Ortman won the straw poll at the 2013 GOP State Convention in October.
One thing is clear, any candidate hoping to take on Franken will need a hefty campaign war chest. Franken's campaign announced today he raised $2.1 million in the fourth quarter and has $4.8 million in the bank.