Republican Karin Housley campaigned through the night Friday in her final push against Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) in their race for the U.S. Senate.
The Housley campaign kicked off its 18-stop, 44-hour get-out-the-vote bus tour immediately following Thursday night’s debate at Hamline University, arriving in Duluth at 11:30 p.m. to greet a crowd of supporters.
“The support we’ve seen has been incredible. Even during the middle of the night, the stops are packed and people are really excited about Karin Housley and the entire Republican ticket,” Housley Communications Director Jake Schneider told The Minnesota Sun.
The Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party kicked off a 28-stop bus tour of its own on Thursday, though Smith is only scheduled to appear at three more stops. Smith, who was appointed to her role after the resignation of Al Franken, is often accused by Republican opponents of not “showing up” for her constituents, especially after she missed an October debate broadcast live throughout the state.
“We’ve been all across the state over the past ten months—while Tina Smith has largely been absent from the campaign trail,” Schneider said, and, at least according to social media, his assessment appears to be mostly accurate.
On Friday afternoon, for instance, Sen. Amy Klobuchar tweeted out a picture from the DFL’s bus tour, but pointed out that Smith was absent.
“It’s the girls on the bus—a great crew of women traveling the state today in support of all our candidates,” Klobuchar tweeted, noting that while Smith wasn’t present, she was still “pictured on” the bus.
It’s the girls on the bus-a great crew of women traveling the state today in support of all our candidates! Glad to be with @peggyflanagan @julieblaha & @melissahortman (also pictured on our bus: @tinasmithmn!) loved our visits to West St Paul, U of M, Brooklyn Park & St Cloud. pic.twitter.com/tY9fXwg3F3
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) November 2, 2018
Between Friday and election day, Smith currently has six scheduled events, while Housley is slated to appear at 18 different campaign stops, according to their respective campaign Facebook pages. Housley’s bus tour lasted through Friday evening and will continue all day Saturday, concluding at a 7:00 p.m. stop in Stillwater.
“Another amazing stop on the Housley Express tour! So. Much. Energy. Love it! We’re [going to] make Minnesota red,” Housley tweeted after a campaign stop in Hutchinson, while Schneider said that “Minnesotans are taking note” of her campaign’s energy.
— Karin Housley (@KarinHousley) November 2, 2018
“Karin Housley is simply working harder,” he added. “And that could make all the difference in a race like this.”
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson, as well as Republican attorney general candidate Doug Wardlow, accompanied Housley for several stops on the tour. Wardlow kicked off a tour of his own Thursday, covering 36 Minnesota towns in five days.
The Minnesota Sun reached out to Smith’s campaign for comment, but they did not immediately respond.
– – –