Ciresi jumps into Minnesota Senate race

Minnesota attorney Mike Ciresi announced Wednesday that he would compete with comedian Al Franken for the endorsement of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and the chance to take on Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) in the 2008 Senate election.

Ciresi is a trial lawyer who gained prominence after helping Minnesota secure a $6 billion settlement from the tobacco industry. His law firm raked in $550 million in legal fees for its work in that case, leaving Ciresi with personal wealth that could enable him to boost his campaign’s coffers.

He ran for the Senate in 2000 but lost in the Democratic primary to Mark Dayton. He considered running for the seat again when Dayton decided not to seek a second term in 2006, but instead deferred to fellow Democrat Amy Klobuchar.