After three rounds of voting, St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg has an even stronger lead in his campaign to win the Republican Party endorsement for U.S. Senate.
But his quest may be complicated by Phillip Parrish, a Navy reservist who secured enough votes to move to the fourth ballot but dropped out nevertheless. He urged his supporters to shift their support to state Sen. Julianne Ortman.
Ortman got 18 percent of the vote on the third ballot.
A candidate needs 60 percent to win the endorsement.
Meanwhile, Mike McFadden hung on with 28.8 percent of the vote.
Dahlberg was not the candidate favored to win the endorsement earlier as the convention began.
But it appears his campaign got last minute help from undecided delegates like Abby Sookraj of Robbinsdale, who voted for him after hearing him speak.
In part, she liked that he has won elections in Democratic-leaning areas of the state.
“That’s key in this race, is being able to compete successfully against [Sen. Al] Franken,” she said.
Lee Burke, also of Robbinsdale, shifted his support to Dahlberg on the second ballot after voting first for Monti Moreno, who is now out of the race. Burke said he was waffling between Dahlberg and McFadden.
“I was really dismayed to find out McFadden wouldn’t support the endorsement,” Burke said. “At that point I thought, ‘Nope. I’m not going to vote for him.’”
Delegates are now casting their fourth ballot.