The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 9, 2006

Andy Davis endorsed as GOP candidate

To take on Morrow for District 23A seat

ST PETER — No one who was watching the vote-counters come back into the convention hall needed an announcement from the podium to know who won.

Each of the candidates for the Republican endorsement for the District 23A seat in the state House was allowed to send a representative to watch over the vote counting. Candidate Andy Davis sent campaign manager — and wife — Jodie Davis.

So when the tellers came back from counting the second round of balloting, the 1,000-watt smile on Jodie Davis’ face told the story.

A few minutes later, the news had reached Perry Meyer, the candidate from Lafayette Township. Meyer, a farmer and 18-year-member of the Lafayette Township Board, went to the podium and suggested a unanimous voice vote to endorse Davis to take on Democrat Terry Morrow.

The 75 delegates on hand did that, and Davis became the party’s candidate for the seat being vacated by the retirement of Rep. Ruth Johnson, DFL-St. Peter. In a show of unity, Meyer and former St. Peter City Councilman Joel Brinker, who dropped out after finishing third on the first ballot, joined Davis on the stage of the Sunrise Assembly of God Church auditorium.

All three candidates had signed a pledge to abide by the convention’s wishes and back the winning candidate rather than run in the Sept. 12 primary election. So unless another Republi-can candidate steps forward between now and the filing period in July, Davis will be the GOP candidate on the ballot on Nov. 7.

An Iraq war veteran and founder of a nonprofit organization to support veterans, Davis said in an interview a short time later that he considers Morrow — a Gustavus Adolphus College professor and St. Peter School Board member — to be “tough competition.”

“The minute I walk out the door, the work starts,” said Davis, whose 25th birthday is today. “I think it’s going to be all about pounding the pavement and talking to people.”

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