A Republican state legislator has ended his campaign for the Minnesota House,
after losing just before delegates decided the GOP endorsement Saturday.
Rep. David FitzSimmons, R-Albertville,
lost conceded the endorsement to Eric Lucero in the District 30B contest. Lucero was harshly critical of FitzSimmons’ 2013 vote in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.
FitzSimmons has a long history of working for conservative Republican candidates, including Tom Emmer when he ran for governor in 2010 and Rep. Michele Bachmann when she ran for president in 2012.
Despite his support for same-sex marriage, which went against the GOP platform, FitzSimmons had the backing of many prominent conservatives including former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch.
“He’s a fiscal hawk, and it’s a loss to the Minnesota Legislature,” Koch said.
Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, also voted for same-sex marriage, but he easily won party endorsement Saturday. Two other House Republicans also voted yes on the marriage bill. Andrea Kieffer of Woodbury isn’t seeking re-election. Eden Prairie Republicans will decide whether to endorse Jenifer Loon next month.
FitzSimmons’ same-sex marriage vote went against the will of his constituents, said Minnesota Family Council Communications Director Autumn Leva.
“They feel disenfranchised. They feel betrayed by how he voted,” Leva said. “That’s what we were hearing from delegates and others at the convention over and over. We didn’t expect this from David. We know David. We thought he was going to stand with us on this issue, and he didn’t.”
Editor’s note: This item has been changed to reflect that FitzSimmons ended his campaign before delegates voted to endorse Eric Lucero.