Kurt Bills has no regrets after unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate

Kurt Bills was often called the “dark horse” candidate in the U.S. Senate campaign. He said if he had it to do over, he would invest more time seeking funding for TV and advertising. “I don’t know if it would have yielded any different results but it would get your name out there,” Bills said. (File photo)

by Howard Lestrud
ECM Publishers Political Editor

Running for the U.S. Senate this year against incumbent Sen. Amy Klobuchar was a “winning experience,” says Minnesota Rep. Kurt Bills, who shies away from saying he will run for political office again some day.

Bills, the endorsed state Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, says he is excited to once again be a full-time social studies teacher in the Rosemount school district. Bills has taught classes in microeconomics, macroeconomics and American government & politics.

The 42-year-old teacher is now a former state politician, having cleaned out his House office and working on a transition to his successor, Anna Wills, a Republican taking the reins of the new House District, 57B. He says he has handed off some of his files to her, specifically some pertaining to education issues. He also plans to send out an email blast to his 37B constituents.

Looking back at the 2012 Senate election, Bills said the results were not as close as he had wished. He was soundly defeated by Klobuchar, picking up 31 percent of the vote. Bills says, “I feel I was a person who was a citizen stepping up to serve and keeping the greater good in mind. I really hope I helped people learn the difference between economic virtue and political virtue.”

Bills says he was “a guy” talking about the fiscal cliff the entire election. The day after the election to now, it has been the leading headline, he points out.

Never leaving the classroom during his tenure as state representative and as a candidate for Senate, Bills feels proud of informing his students as to how they can be involved in the political process, rather than complaining, being cynical or being stoic. He taught first-hour economics while serving in the House and while seeking a U.S. Senate seat.

“I’m just going to enjoy being a full-time teacher again and watch my four kids grow up,” he said. “I also plan to focus on educating students, getting them involved in understanding the political process regardless of political party affiliation; this whole process will help me become a better social studies teacher.”

Bills emphasizes that it was his work with students that led him to a political life. He explains that it was because of all of the questions his students had, “looking into their eyes and hearing them talk about the deficits we face, and wondering why we were not offering solutions.” Bills said he ran for local, state and federal office with his students and his own children in mind.

Bills was often called the darkhorse candidate in the U.S. Senate campaign. He says the Star Tribune called the race in February. Bills called Klobuchar a powerful, politically connected person with millions of dollars in funding behind her. “It’s all about money” in campaigning, Bills believes.

He says many of his students ask about the political process. He responds to them, “Unless you are political elite or financial elite, you will face a tough time. That’s why political parties are so powerful, as long as you don’t have money you don’t have a chance.” He calls the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold Act) an absolute failure.

Talking further about his lack of financing, Bills said if he had it to do over, he would invest more time seeking funding for TV and advertising. “I don’t know if it would have yielded any different results but it would get your name out there,” Bills said. In order to defeat Klobuchar in six years, Bills says better funding of a Republican candidate has to be accomplished in getting the message to the media.

The endorsement process also concerns Bills who says Gov. Dayton totally disregarded the Democrat-endorsement process and some Republicans may do the same in the future, he believes.

Bills admits to possibly not being “as polished” as other candidates but said he believed he had a greater understanding of fiscal and monetary policy. “I was discussing many of the issues, many issues surrounding the fiscal cliff and budget process. Economic theory is only as good as its ability to predict.” Bills and Klobuchar met four times in a forum or debate setting.

Energy was not lacking by Bills who says he always puts out 110 percent, whether on the campaign trail, in the classroom, working as a state representative or coaching on the wrestling mat. Bills is a former high school coach and says he may get involved in that area once again.

Bills has no regrets concerning how hard he worked on his political campaigns. He credits his blue-collar background. His father, is a retired pipe fitter. “I grew up in a very blue-collar home and nobody can take your work ethic or education away. I educated myself constantly about issues, worked in road construction, educated myself and worked as hard as I could.”

Whether his political impact made Bills a glowing light, a guiding light, or a shooting star, he hopes the people he has touched “have an understanding about the posterity of our children’s future instead of saving our posteriors.”


    Kurt was a fantastic cantidate, if only our “comrads” in the press would even try to report.

    • wageslave

      So Bills is who the people really wanted, but the press caused his landslide loss?

      Did the party organizations, state and national, do their part?

      Or is it simply that Bills, who the people REALLY wanted, was defeated by the press?

  • Rosemount Resident

    Seriously? If Kurt Bills was so fantastic how come he couldn’t even carry Rosemount? He represents the WORST type of candidate possible, only in it for himself. He has no idea what it means to hold office, just run for it. I hope he just goes away.

  • RollieB

    Oh, stay tuned RR, Bills is being talked about for running for U.S. House of Representatives when Kline *finally* retires back to Texas.

  • wageslave

    I’m still interested in the theory that this fantastic candidate was defeated by the press.

    Another theory is that a narrow, zealous band of caucus- and convention-goers, who weren’t necessarily welcomed with open arms by party veterans, put forth a marginal candidate.

    But let’s face it, all the Republican stars sat this one out.

  • wageslave

    Taxpayer28 has yet to come back and make a cogent argument for his claim that the media sunk Kurt Bills.


    • TAXPAYER28

      If a republican had been involved with Tom Peters Ponzi scheme, the press would have been relentless. Instead they took a statement from her press secretary and just say oh.. ok. Had a republican done that the press would be screaming why is this dirty SOB lying to us.
      As far as why the party abandond him. I think its obvious, the entiteld elitests party heads had a hissy fit because they didn’t get to cherry pick their rino.
      I would prefer a principled catidate over a wind sock any day.
      Kurt addressed the biggest issue in politics today, that of how budgeting is done in government. basing a budget on forcasts and projections has lead to the most Orwellian type of new speak around. When has the last true budget cut accualy lead to a smaller amount being spent. NO, it is only a smaller increase than they wanted. but it is ALWAYS reported as a draconian cut.
      I realize the Democrats and press are working hand in clove, but the hardest thing to over come is the elites republicans who think its important to “be electable” which is nothing less than being a rino. If you govern like a democrate they will tolorate you I guess, but why bother then?

      • RollieB

        “I realize the Democrats and press are working hand in clove…”

        Oh really! How so – please explain.

        • TAXPAYER28

          The most common practice is when the Dems talking points come out, the same vernacular is use by news casts. i.e. “how to pay for tax cuts” (the government doesn’t pay for a tax cut, they may need to cut spending but not pay out a dime) the citizens PAY the taxes.
          Another one is the infamous “investing in our schools” (an investment implies a rate of return) when doing a balance sheet, items that make money are considered investments, items that are cost are expenditures. Throwing more money down the rat hole of a government indoctrination camp known as the public school system is yet to be proven to be anything but an expenditure.

      • wageslave

        Let’s sort this out.

        If you’re going to bring up some obscure Tom Petters reference that Bills tried to bring up, then do so, and don’t make us puzzle over what you mean. Explain. Convince.

        I’m open to hearing how Amy K. was allegedly corrupt as Hennepin County attorney. Explain it, though. Is this alleged misconduct something you REALLY believe in, something you’ll raise six years from now?

        What, in particular, does that explicit charge (I honestly don’t know the details, which you haven’t provided) have to do with your disdain for Klobuchar OR your support or Bills?

        Old news. More important, Taxpayer28, TELL US what the new Republican Party must look like.

        Who will be the faithful? Who will be the forgotten? The makers? The takers?

        • TAXPAYER28

          the point is she gets a free oass on what you call an obscure referance but a republican would have been assumed guilty, your proving my point, this is so common you accept on face value what ever the press gives you. just like the voter fraud issue.. the press won’t do any investigation beyond a quote from Mark Richie declaring it doesn’t exist, yet his own staff has been found guilty of voter fraud. I sorry you wish to put your head in the sand, or maybe its just more convinient for you to justify your beliefs.

  • wageslave

    OK. A good, cogent argument about how the media sunk Kurt Bills. Thanks!


    Here’s a thought; when news casts and articles about taxation come out, is there ever any reporting of equal protection? I know the equal protection clause argument in regards to progressive taxation and how the lawers get around it, but come on, a majority desides to single out a minority and treat them differently, how is that ever going to be anything but using government force to rob people?
    It seems to me a little honesty on the subject could go a long way to better inform the public of the games being played by politicians in our one party system. (A little hyperbally there at the expence of the rinos) ; )

    • wageslave

      Which minority is being singled out and treated differently, by, apparently, in your description, “a majority”?

      Man, I do not get what you’re saying.


      • TAXPAYER28

        the minorityhere would refer to those recieving $ from government, the minority would be those who are being robbed at the point of a gun for the majorities welfare payments. this includes corperate welfare.

  • Jan Dobson

    Can’t help chuckling at wageslave’s demand for a “cogent argument” supporting the existence of mainstream media bias against a Republican candidate. That’s kind of like asking for a “cogent argument” and “credible evidence” to support the fact that the dawn brings daylight and darkness comes with sunset.

    • wageslave

      Jan: I can’t help chuckling at your apparent defense of this statement from Taxpayer28:

      “Kurt was a fantastic cantidate, if only our “comrads” in the press would even try to report.”

      Explain again, in support of Taxpaer28’s original thesis, how the “media” secured Amy Klobuchar’s re-election.

      • Jan Dobson

        Glad to provide you with some holiday cheer, wageslave. I interpreted TAXPAYER28’S initial comment to be more big picture in nature than specific. That is, mainstream media are profoundly, obviously, manifestly, patently and blatantly biased against Republicans and Conservatives. Therefore, anything produced by mainstream media is necessarily going to be profoundly, obviously, manifestly, patently and blatantly biased against Republicans and Conservatives.