Minnesota Republicans Reconvene to Support Governor Candidate

Minnesota Republican lawmakers convened again on Saturday to support the candidate who will run for Democratic governor Tim Wals in the November election.

The 2,200 delegates had to complete their work by 6pm on Saturday, when the Rochester Mayo Civic Center had to be vacated, but Friday’s relatively fast and smooth electronic voting process seemed to reduce the chance of leaving without approval due to lack of time. Delegates and party leaders hope that at least one candidate will be the first Republican elected to a statewide office since Governor Tim Polenty was re-elected in 2006.

Vaccine skeptic and former state senator Dr. Scott Jensen; former Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka; And corporate executive Kendall Qualls was one of the top candidates to vote on Saturday. All have promised to renounce their right to run in the Republican primary on August 9, assuming everyone respects the party’s support and there is no deadlock. Former President Donald Trump, who remains a powerful influence within the party, has supported no one in the Minnesota primary.

In Friday night’s fourth ballot, the convention endorsed business attorney Jim Schultz as Attorney General, a Minnesota Republican not winning since 1968. He hopes to oust former Congressman Ellison, who led a team of former convict prosecutors. Police Officer Derek Chauvin at the time of George Floyd’s death.

Schultz defeated Doug Wardlow, the 2018 party candidate and legal adviser to MyPillow. The company’s CEO, Mike Lindell, became nationally famous for perpetuating the false allegation that Trump won the 2020 presidential election. They also lost former Washington County Judge Tad Jude and attorney Lynne Torgerson. Former Congressman Dennis Smith plans to challenge Schultz in the GOP primary.

Jensen was expected to take the lead in the first vote, but would need 60% of the delegates to win support. The family doctor from Chaska started the earliest and raised the most money. He has built national followers by framing skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine and opposition to mandatory mask closures and school and business closures as support for medical freedom.

East Gull Lake State Senator Gazelka has been emphasizing law and order as a result of violent unrest and a surge in crime since Floyd’s death in 2020. Quals, a black man, emphasized the rise from poverty to success and his status as an outsider. He raised nearly $468,000 in the first three months of the year, the highest Q1 performance of any candidate.

They also sought approval from former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, dermatologist Neil Shah and Lexington Mayor Mike Murphy.

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