Three votes separate Dahlberg, McFadden on 8th ballot

St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg addressed delegates before their eighth round of voting on the U.S. Senate endorsement. Tom Scheck/MPR News

After eight ballots the contest for the Republican U.S. Senate endorsement couldn’t be much closer.

St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg had 49.35% of the vote and Sunfish Lake businessman Mike McFadden had 49.2% of the vote.

The comes out to 956 votes for Dahlberg and 953 for McFadden. To win the endorsement in this round of voting, Dahlberg or McFadden needed a total of 1163 votes, or 60 percent.

This is the closest the race has been since delegates started voting Friday evening. Dahlberg unexpectedly performed well in the first seven ballots. When delegates left the Rochester Civic Center at 2 a.m., he had 54 percent of the vote and McFadden had 44 percent.

A last minute endorsement from 6th Congressional District Rep. Michele Bachmann may have helped McFadden in the last round of voting. She is widely respected among the most conservative delegates at the convention.

On to round 9…

Mike McFadden addresses delegates before they vote for the 8th time on the U.S. Senate endorsement. Tom Scheck/MPR News