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Despite presidential shadow, Senate race continues

Presidential politics upstaged the Minnesota U.S. Senate race, but candidates want their supporters to attend precinct caucuses Tuesday so they can advance to future conventions.

The more supporters at the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party convention in June, the better chance a candidate has of being endorsed -- and the delegate selection process begins Tuesday night.

Al Franken of Saturday Night Live fame and Mike Ciresi of Minnesota's big tobacco trial fame are the leading candidates, with Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer trailing in fund-raising. Perennial candidate Dick Franson also is in the race.

As caucuses approached, Franken announced that Bob Bergland, a former congressman and U.S. agriculture secretary, supports his candidacy.