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MN GOP State Convention 2009

2009 October 5


Yesterday, I attended the MN GOP State Convention at the St. Paul RiverCentre. During the convention, delegates approved and disapproved several amendments to the state party’s constitution and a straw poll of the 2009 gubenatorial candidates was conducted. In fact, two separate straw polls were taken.  The first was to determine the delegates first choice for governor, and then delegates also cast ballots for their second choice for governor. Delegates could not vote for the same person in both polls. The results of the straw poll were as follows:

2009 MN GOP State Convention Straw Poll Results:

First Choice:

1. Rep. Marty Seifert: 37%

Marty Seifert

2. Rep. Tom Emmer: 23%

Tom Emmer

3. Former State Auditor Pat Anderson: 14%

Pat Anderson

4. Sen. David Hann: 12%

5. Rep. Paul Kohls: 5%

In the poll for their second choice, delegates chose Sen. David Hann, followed by Rep. Tom Emmer and Pat Anderson finished third. Each candidate was allowed to address the convention for five minutes before the voting. Keep in mind that off-year straw polls are unreliable for predicting the MN GOP endorsement for governor. Previous straw-poll winners often lose the endorsement. However, it does give some candidates bragging rights and it is predicted that several candidates will drop out in the next few weeks, perhaps because of their poor percentage at the straw poll.

Overall, it was a good convention. It had all the trappings of an election-year event with the walls of the convention hall plastered with the candidates posters and teams of volunteers decked out in brightly colored shirts handing out campaign literature. Governor Tim Pawlenty even address the delegates, though he hasn’t endorsed anyone yet. All thougha little more than half of the eligible delegates showed up, MN GOP Chair Tony Sutton said that the turnout for this off-year convention was on of the largest in 20 years.

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