Republican gubernatorial hopefuls address party delegates

martyspeech_1by T.W. Budig
ECM capitol reporter

The Republican gubernatorial endorsement hopefuls have all addressed party delegates at the Minneapolis Convention Center and convention prepares for balloting.

Representatives Tom Emmer of Delano and Marty Seifert of Marshall are strong endorsement favorites, with Bill Haas of Champlin, Phil Herwig of Milaca and environmental activist Leslie Davis lumped at the bottom. SEE SLIDESHOW

Rep. Marty Seifert gives his gubernatorial pitch to Minnesota Republican Party delegates attending the state convention today (Friday, April 30) at the Minneapolis Convention Center. (Photo by T.W. Budig, ECM Capitol Reporter)

Former state auditor Pat Anderson indicated late last night the endorsement race was too close to call.

Emmer and Seifert gave the convention elaborate speeches — both featuring a video — with ticker tape spilling at the conclusion of Seifert’s speech and pyrotechnic display marking the end of Emmer’s speech — the lawmaker clutching his children in his arms before the cheering crowd.

“I feel good,” said Emmer, working the delegate floor this morning. “I know we have some momentum here today,” he said.

Sixth District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, R-Stillwater, in addressing the convention said Republicans have no choice but to unify behind their endorsed candidates — she depicted “uber liberals” in Washington trying to extend their reach into state government.


Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave in essence a farewell speech to the convention.

Asked about the gubernatorial endorsement contest after his speech, Pawlenty indicated he was satisfied. “I think we’ve got good candidates and delegates will make a good choice,” he said.

Pawlenty spoke of stylistic differences between Emmer and Seifert. But the two are similar, Pawlenty explained.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty addresses delegates at the Minnesota Republican Party Convention in Minneapolis. (Photo by T.W. Budig, ECM Capitol Reporter)

“In term of values and principles I think they’re both much if not all the same thing,” said Pawlenty. Pawlenty indicated the two candidates shared his values. Pawlenty has not yet endorsed a gubernatorial candidate.

On stage with Seifert was Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah, his running mate.

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