State Convention Weekend Update 31 May 14

Republicans at their state convention in Rochester are deadlocked over a candidate for US Senate, and after meeting until 2 am took a break and start up again at 9 this (SAT) morning. Saint Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg — the underdog — grabbed a surprise early lead.  State Senator Julianne Ortman couldn’t get enough votes to stay in the race for the endorsement, but businessman Mike McFadden vowed to run for Senate with or without the GOP nod.  Dahlberg is now trying to convince enough McFadden delegates to vote for him to capture the 60% required for the GOP endorsement.

Republicans choose their candidate for Minnesota governor today  — although hopefuls Scott Honour and Kurt Zellers say they’ll go directly to the primary election in August.  Jeff Johnson, Dave Thompson and Marty Seifert still seek their party’s nod, although Seifert says he’ll run in the primary if he doesn’t get it.

Former state Representative Dan Severson has received the GOP endorsements for Minnesota secretary of state after his rival, former state Senator John Howe from Red Wing, bowed out of the race.  Randy Gilbert is endorsed for State Auditor.  State Senator Scott Newman of Hutchinson secured the Republican Party’s backing for Minnesota attorney general a day after jumping into the race. Newman was the sole candidate seeking the endorsement Friday at the party’s state convention in Rochester. He is now in line to challenge Democratic Attorney General Lori Swanson as she vies for a third term. Minnesota hasn’t elected a Republican to the post since 1966. Newman told delegates that “a sense of entitlement” has encroached on the office. The veteran lawmaker who has been an attorney is known for sponsoring legislation to require photo identification at polling places. Voters turned that back in 2012. A third candidate, Brandan Borgos, is running for attorney general on the Independence Party ticket.


Democrats are endorsing their candidates for the November election at their state convention in Duluth this weekend. DFL Chair Ken Martin says they’re going to come out of the convention Sunday with a unified ticket. Most of the DFL candidates for statewide and constitutional offices are incumbents, including Governor Dayton and US Senator Al Franken. There’s a special tribute to outgoing Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner-Solon today in her hometown as well.

Governor Mark Dayton and his running mate, Tina Smith, have filed the necessary paperwork to run for governor and lieutenant governor. Dayton and Smith arrive in Duluth this weekend for the DFL State Convention. They are set to be endorsed by their party this afternoon.