From MPR’s Rupa Shenoy:
Party delegates endorsed candidates at a number of local conventions around the state Saturday and here are some of the highlights:
–In House District 38B incumbent Republicans Matt Dean of Dellwood and Carol McFarlane of White Bear Lake were paired by redistricting. Dean, the House Majority Leader won the GOP endorsement on the first ballot.
Afterward McFarlane stood weeping outside the auditorium while Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who had stopped by unexpectedly, tried to comfort her.
McFarlane and Dean had agreed before the convention to abide by its decision. But after the vote McFarlane told reporters she wasn’t sure what she would do next.
“It’s too early to say anything,” she said. “I need to rest and reflect.”
Candidates who pledged to abide by the GOP endorsement have to pay $2,500 to the party if they run in the primary.
Dean said McFarlane has strong support within the party and he wasn’t surprised that the endorsement vote was close. He said it was “awful” to go up against a Republican colleague.
But Dean said he expects McFarlane to stand by the earlier agreement to abide by the endorsement.
–Delegates in Senate District 31 also had to choose between two GOP colleagues: first-term Sen. Michelle Benson of Ham Lake and third-term Sen. Michael Jungbauer of East Bethel. Delegates voted five times before Benson had the 60 percent to win. Jungbauer stepped aside and said he was happy to support her.
–In Senate District
54 66, DFL Sens. John Marty of Roseville and Mary Jo McGuire of Falcon Heights were pitted against each other. Marty won on the first ballot and McGuire said she’ll retire.
–And in the 7th Congressional District, the Republican party endorsed Lee Byberg to challenge longtime DFL Congressman Collin Peterson. Byberg won the endorsement on the first ballot over state Sen. Gretchen Hoffman.
“Gretchen Hoffman ran a great race, and I know she has a bright future in politics” Byberg said in a statement.
Both candidates pledged to abide by the endorsement and forego a primary challenge.
“Republicans are united and we are convinced that come November Rep. Peterson will be retiring to the 7th District. We know our message of fiscal discipline, limited government, and faith in free enterprise is exactly what Minnesotans believe. Collin has been in Washington too long, and is helping impose Washington values on Minnesotans.
“It’s time to bring Minnesota values to Washington instead,” said Byberg.