Republican Rep. Tom Emmer announced today that he’s selected Metropolitan Council member Annette Meeks as his running mate. Meeks is a well known conservative who has appeared on radio and TV and written newspaper editorials. She also served as Deputy Chief of Staff to former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, worked for the conservative group called Center of the American Experiment and is the founder of the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota.
Emmer praised Meeks for being a conservative who pushes to restructure government and said she actually wrote the book on it. He pointed to the Minnesota Policy Blueprint, a book Meeks wrote for the Center of the American Experiment. In it, Meeks called for the elimination of the office of the lieutenant governor – the job she’s now running for.
Meeks also served on Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s stadium commission in 2004 that called for a variety of tax increases to pay for new stadiums for the Vikings and Twins. The commission also called for the taxes to be levied without voter approval.
Emmer’s top GOP rival, Rep. Marty Seifert, said Meeks is a strong candidate. He said the biggest concern he’s heard is that both Meeks and Emmer represent the metropolitan area. Seifert, of Marshall, picked Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah as his running mate.
Both Emmer and Seifert have been working hard to win the Republican Party endorsement at Friday’s state party convention. Both say they’ll drop out if they don’t win party backing.