By Josh Moniz
---- — MANKATO – The Republican endorsement convention for Minnesota's 1st Congressional District race in 2014 will be moving back to Albert Lea after six years in Mankato.
The endorsement convention will be held on April 5, 2014 in Southwest Middle School's gymnasium in Albert Lea. A candidate's forum will be held on April 4 at the Wedgewood Cove Golf Club.
Carol Stevenson, chair of the Minnesota Republican Party of Minnesota’s First District, said each 1st District county is given the opportunity to host the event. She said Republicans in Mower County and Freeborn County offered to jointly host the event in Albert Lea. She said the location is appealing because of its centralized location in the district.
In the wake of last year's 14-hour, 23-ballot endorsement convention, Stevenson said they will have somebody put a motion to set an end time to the convention. She said she doubts it will be relevant this year.
The convention was held in Mankato for the last two elections due to its population size and location in the middle of the district. The 2008 endorsement convention was held in Albert Lea.
Currently, there are three Republican candidates vying for the endorsement: Rochester state Rep. Mike Benson, Byron native Aaron Miller and former 1st District Republican endorsed candidate Jim Hagedorn.