Margaret Anderson Kelliher attacks rural Minnesota

Kelliher has a lot of hands to shake between now and August.

Kelliher has a lot of hands to shake between now and August.

Gubernatorial hopeful Margaret Anderson Kelliher announced plans yesterday to spend the latter part of this week touring rural Minnesota towns, a step toward hurdling what experts say might be her campaign's biggest obstacle: name recognition.

Kelliher, the subject of our May 26 feature, "MAK Attack," faces former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton (a household name across the state) and former state representative Matt Entenza (recently dominated headlines for choosing freshly retired news anchor Robyne Robinson as his running mate) for the DFL primary election in August.

Kelliher has become more well known since earning the party nod in April, but experts say she still has to introduce herself and her message to a big portion of Minnesotan if she plans to win the nomination.

"You're running against a guy named Dayton -- that's going to be tough," said political analyst Larry Jacobs in a City Pages interview last month. "I think the speaker's in for a real battle."

Kelliher campaign spokesman Matt Swenson says the tour will focus on a simple message: jobs. "We will be focused on jobs like a laser."

And for all the Kelliher campaign groupies out there, click here for the week's schedule.