The party endorsement: What’s it good for?

State Sen. Dave Thompson, R- Lakeville. Tim Nelson/MPR News

State Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, is running for the GOP’s gubernatorial endorsement, and is among three candidates who say they’ll drop out if they don’t win the party’s backing.

Meanwhile, two other candidates – Rep. Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove and Scott Honour – say they’re going to the primary no matter what happens at this weekend’s convention in Rochester.

Those political dynamics raise an important question: if candidates plan to compete in the primary, is the party endorsement still relevant?

Thompson says it is.

“You don’t know how many people here who’ve said, ‘I support you, I’m with you. But I’ll support whoever the endorsed candidate is,’ Thompson said.”We like our party system, and we put energy behind it and that matters in an election.”

“In an ideal world, would it be preferable that we didn’t have primaries? Sure,” Thompson added. “Would that be better for the party system itself? Maybe in the short run. But in the long run, if we can defend our endorsed candidates and win elections, the party will be just fine.”

Thompson also pointed out that he thinks the party, which has suffered financially in the last few years, will have the resources to put behind the endorsed candidate. That includes money and volunteers.

  • Chris B. Critter

    Of *course* someone going after the party endorsement will say the party endorsement is important.