This election year is getting more and more interesting in Senate District 16. Over in House District 16B you have what is potentially a three way race that may split this very conservative district enough to hand the seat to moderate DFLer, Steve Andrews. I learned today from a relatively reliable source that Mark Olson WILL be running as an "independent" against Republican endorsed, Mary Kiffmeyer, and DFL endorsed, Steve Andrews.

To top things off, Betsy Wergin was recently appointed to the Public Utilities Commission by Tim Pawlenty opening the Senate seat for a special election tied in with the general election in November.

Will Mary Kiffmeyer get out of 16B and move over to the Senate race?

Will Mark Olson try for the Senate seat?

Tim Budig at the Hometown Source Political Pulse Blog is speculating that Olson may wait until the July 31st deadline and run for the State Senate seat being vacated by Wergin.

As of noon today (July 15) Rep. Mark Olson, R-Big Lake, has not filed for office. Olson is at the Capitol, holed up in his office at last check.

One question is whether Olson, who would face former secretary of state Mary Kiffmeyer if he elects to seek his old district seat, will do that or attempt to win a seat in the Minnesota Senate.

Also, it is interesting to note that a reporter saw Olson at the Capitol yesterday and asked him about filing for the 16B seat. I have to wonder what time that was at given that Olson was scheduled to be at an Education Minnesota candidate screening and called to cancel because of a "meeting".

As of noon today (July 14) Olson, who lost his district endorsement to former secretary of state Mary Kiffmeyer, hadn’t filed for office.

When a reporter saw Olson at a cash machine at the Capitol today and asked about his political plans, Olson refused to comment.

Pressed whether he had made up his mind one way or the other on running, Olson replied that he was “working at it.”

Olson’s office late last week indicated the lawmaker would release a press release tomorrow — last day of filing.

Will both of them, without the knowledge of the other, drop out of 16B and find themselves competing again at the Senate level?

Who will the DFL choose to run for the State Senate seat? I nominated former House District 16B candidate, Jim Huhtala, for the position but he promptly told me that he was no longer interested and preferred to do lawn maintenance (he has a really big lawn folks!) rather than run another election.

If Kiffmeyer abandons the 16B seat can Republicans, in good conscience, vote for a man convicted of assaulting his wife?

So, let's turn this into a prediction thread. Leave your predicitions in the comment section.