Convening at the Minneapolis Convention Center in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota’s GOP endorsed three uncontested candidates on April 29, 2010: Chris Barden for attorney general, Rep. Dan Severson for Secretary of State and Pat Anderson for State Auditor. Anderson had previously been running for governor but announced on January 12, 2010 that she would be running for state auditor instead – a position she held for just one term in 2002. The voters of Minnesota replaced her with Rebecca Otto who is running for re-election this year. Vying for the GOP gubernatorial endorsement are Phil Herwig, Leslie Davis “The Republic(M)an for Governor 2010 – Trained, Experienced, Smart, Tough, Ready,” Marty Seifert who has named Rhonda Sivarajah as his running mate, Tom Emmer who was recently endorsed by Sarah Palin, and Bill Haas.
Earlier today gubernatorial candidate Phil Herwig spoke saying he planned to do away with welfare and all entitlement programs in the state in an effort to balance the budget. He then likened himself to Sen. Paul Wellstone. Fellow candidates Marty Seifert and Tom Emmer (both considered frontrunners) then took the stage. When the live blog at TheUptake polled viewers / readers on whom they would like to receive the endorsement, the response was 100% in favor of Emmer at one point and Davis was favored with 68% of the vote at another. Elsewhere, Seifert has been polling neck and neck with Emmer since at least February of this year.
2:20 p.m.: The first ballot is being taken by roll with Emmer being slightly favored – official tally to follow.
Round 1 Results (1196 required for endorsement): 1076 Emmer, 865 Seifert, 36 Herwig, 26 Haas, 6 Davis, 1 Undecided, 3 No endorsement, 4 No preference, 26 Blank, 1 Spoiled
Herwig, Haas and Davis did not receive the 5% of vote total required to stay on the ballot, and the second route of voting began as Bill Haas and Phil Herwig expressed their support for Marty Seifert.
3:36 p.m.: There was a change to the official tally due to a double count by the affiliates. The changes affect only Emmer and Seifert whose new totals are: 1062 Emmer (52.6%) and 859 Seifert (42.5%).
Round 2 Results: 1118 votes for Emmer (56%) and 876 votes for Seifert (43.8%). Round 3 to begin shortly — although a delegate has asked for a motion to nominate Emmer by acclimation. The chair of the convention, Tony Sutton, called on Marty Seifert to address the convention. Seifert conceded saying “It’s time to get behind Tom Emmer.”
Tom Emmer is expected to face DFL-endorsed candidate Margaret Anderson-Kelliher in the November election upon her winning the Democratic primary on August 10, 2010. Emmer’s running mate is Annette Meeks, CEO and founder of the “Freedom Foundation of Minnesota”.