Tim Pawlenty will not seek a third term as Minnesota governor, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. Pawlenty is seen as a probable Republican candidate for 2012, but he was mum on the subject. “I don’t have any plans beyond serving out my term,” he said today. “I’m not ruling anything in or out.” He said he was leaving office to open up the field to others.
The development might bode ill for Senate hopeful Al Franken, writes Josh Marshall on Talking Points Memo. If the courts rule as expected that Franken beat Norm Coleman, Pawlenty could refuse to issue a certificate of election. Had he been running for re-election, Palwenty might hesitate to tick off Minnesota voters. Now that a presidential bid is in the mix, such a move could endear him to the base. (Read more Tim Pawlenty stories.)