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by Tony Petrangelo
Jun 1, 2014, 11:00 AM

Minnesota Political Convention Wrap

Before I get to the results of the conventions, there are a few items worth mentioning.

♣ Governor Mark Dayton announced that he would take matching funds in his race for Governor.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed an agreement Friday that will sharply limit his ability to personally bankroll his re-election campaign.

Dayton agreed not to spend more than $20,000 of his own money in exchange for about $447,000 in public subsidy. The agreement also limits Dayton’s campaign to about $3.6 million.

♣ GOP Gubernatorial hopeful Scott Honour announced his pick for Lt. Governor:

Republican candidate for governor Scott Honour announced that state Sen. Karin Housley of Stillwater will be his running mate in the race for the GOP nomination.

Of course as a state Senator Karin Housley is not up for re-election this cycle.

DFL Convention results

There was only one office for which balloting was required at the DFL convention, and that was for the endorsement for Secretary of State between Steve Simon and Debra Hilstrom. Simon won on the first ballot, and while the official results of the vote were not released, talk around the convention was that Simon got just short of 70%, 60% is required for endorsement.

All the other candidates were endorsed by acclimation, Al Franken for US Senate, Mark Dayton and Tina Smith for Governor and Lt. Governor, Lori Swanson for Attorney General, and Rebecca Otto for Auditor.

The only other issue at the convention with any sense of drama, the state of platform resolution #2, failed to provide any drama in the end as the convention agreed to table it, almost unanimously.

Just a reminder, Ken Martin said this:

“There’s going to be a debate on it … but I don’t see a problem getting this resolution through,’’ Martin said. “It’s neither pro-mining nor pro-environment. … All it says is that the DFL supports mining if it’s done in an environmentally responsible way. And I think that’s where the vast majority of Minnesotans are on this issue.’’

In fact, both sides of the mining issue finally found something they agree on, their distaste of the proposed resolution.

GOP Convention results

Unlike the DFL convention, the GOP convention seemed to be nothing but drama.

On Friday, the GOP endorsed Senator Scott Newman for Attorney General, Randy Gilbert for Auditor and Doc “Dan” Severson for Secretary of State.

Also on Friday balloting began for the US Senate endorsement between Julianne Ortman, Mike McFadden, Chris Dahlberg, Jim Abler, Phillip Parrish and Monti Moreno. On Saturday balloting for the US Senate endorsement continued. In the end, Mike McFadden defeated Chris Dahlberg for the endorsement on the tenth ballot.

The question now is whether Jim Abler will follow through and run in the primary election, as he has indicated he would. But even if he does, as both the endorsed candidate and the only candidate with any real money, Mike McFadden will be the overwhelming favorite in such a race.

Next up for the GOP was endorsing a candidate for Governor. There were four candidates who were vying for the endorsement; Jeff Johnson, Dave Thompson, Marty Seifert and Rob Farnsworth. Jeff Johnson prevailed on the forth ballot, after Thompson threw his support behind him and Seifert told his delegates to go home.

This sets up a four-way contest for the Republican nomination for Governor between the newly endorsed Jeff Johnson, the still not endorsed Marty Seifert, and the two candidates who didn’t even attempt to get the endorsement, Kurt Zellers and Scott Honour.

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