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2 run quiet Senate campaigns

ST. PAUL - More than just the "big three" are seeking Minnesota's U.S. Senate seat, although the "other two" are mostly invisible.

Two far lesser-known candidates will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot with Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, Democrat Al Franken and the Independence Party's Dean Barkley.

Voters also can pick either Charles Aldrich of the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party's James Niemackl. Both minor-party Senate candidates advocate for a smaller federal government and say the Iraq war should end and U.S. troops should be brought home.

Niemackl's proposals include cutting federal spending, reforming tax policies, toughening border security and limiting the federal government's role in education funding and policy.

"Our nation has come to the breaking point because we continue to tolerate the deception and corruption within our government," Niemackl writes.

Aldrich's key issues include expanded domestic oil drilling, ending corn-ethanol subsidies and a five-year suspension of federal renewable energy taxes.

"The Libertarian Party can be your protest vote or even your vote of choice," Aldrich writes. "The Democrats and Republicans are not the only players in town."

Charles Aldrich

Party: Libertarian

Age: 51

Home: Alden

Occupation: Engineer

Political experience: Minnesota House candidate, 2004

Education: University of Wisconsin Platteville

Family: Single; three children

James Niemackl

Party: Constitution

Age: 30

Home: Richfield

Occupation: Police officer; University of St. Thomas theology student; former business owner

Political experience: None

Education: Concordia University; Normandale Community College

Family: Single