The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 16, 2014

GOP race against Walz heats up

MANKATO — The Republican endorsement race in Minnesota's First Congressional District is heating up with all three Republican candidates making a push during the final Republican county conventions.

First District Republicans will hold their endorsement convention on April 4 in Albert Lea. The state Republican convention will be held on May 30 in Rochester.

Blue Earth County convention

A total of 25 delegates and 50 alternates were elected on March 8 to represent the Blue Earth County Republicans at each of the conventions.

The Free Press interviewed the Blue Earth County delegates elected to the 1st District convention about their voting preferences. Most of these delegates overlapped with the delegates elected to the state convention.

In the 1st District race, delegates uniformly favored Jim Hagedorn.

In the gubernatorial race, Marty Seifert and Jeff Johnson tied as the only candidates preferred by delegates.

In the U.S. Senate race, nearly a quarter of the delegates had no preferred candidate. The remaining delegates largely split their support between Julianne Ortman and Chris Dahlberg.

1st District

During the candidate portion of the convention, 1st District Republican candidates Aaron Miller, Rep. Mike Benson and Hagedorn each took a turn pitching their candidacy to local Republicans. All three candidates are seeking to unseat incumbent Rep. Tim Walz, of Mankato, in this year's election.

Byron resident Miller said he would bring strong private sector experience to the campaign. He said he would also be able to neutralize Walz's political strength on veteran issues with his own military experience.

Later, he shared a story about his daughter becoming very upset because she had to learn about evolution at school. He said his daughter told the teacher that she did not believe in evolution. He said the teacher expressed agreement with his daughter, but told her that they were forced to teach the lesson by the government.

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