Rubio nets backing from two dozen state legislators

Majority leader Rep. Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, during the 2015 Minnesota legislative session. Jennifer Simonson | MPR News

Two dozen Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature are lining up behind presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, including a pair from the leadership ranks.

House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers and Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, headline the list of new endorsers released Thursday by Rubio’s campaign. The roster includes both rural and suburban lawmakers.

Hann joins the Rubio fray after initially supporting former computer technology executive Carly Fiorina, who left the race earlier this month.

One leading Republican who hasn’t picked sides yet is House Speaker Kurt Daudt. He got behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker shortly before Walker’s campaign fizzled. He didn’t return a text message Thursday inquiring about his latest thinking on the race.

Other GOP lawmakers are behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. That includes noted House fiscal hawk, state Rep. Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa. So far no sitting legislators are publicly behind national front-runner Donald Trump.

While the political payoff for endorsements is debatable, the local leaders give campaigns extra voices at precinct caucuses. Minnesota’s turn to vote in the Democratic and Republican nomination battles comes Tuesday.

Here’s the list of new Rubio backers:

Senate Minority Leader David Hann
House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin
Sen. Gary Dahms
Sen. Scott Newman
Sen. Eric Pratt
Sen. Julie Rosen
Sen. David Senjem
Sen. Bill Weber
House Speaker Pro Tempore Tim O’Driscoll
Rep. Tony Albright
Rep. Sarah Anderson
Rep. Peggy Bennett
Rep. Drew Christensen
Rep. Brian Daniels
Rep. Jon Koznick
Rep. Bob Loonan
Rep. Denny McNamara
Rep. Roz Peterson
Rep. Duane Quam
Rep. Linda Runbeck
Rep. Tim Sanders
Rep. Dennis Smith
Rep. Mark Uglem
Rep. Dean Urdahl

  • Finally…..a state with voters who are mature and intellectual enough to see past the faux conservatism of dtrump, and thus will reject his bully tactics. Perhaps Minnesota will be the very key in turning the tide of this bizarre primary year and setting Rubio on the path to the White House.

    • Jim Bendtsen

      It’s quite telling that you’ve deliberately ignored Cruz

      • FWJ

        Yes, it is…… I am all for Rubio, as he is the brightest by far on foreign affairs and the only one who truly gets radical Islam. Also, he is the best hope for defeating Clinton/Sanders. However, I could vote for Cruz, Carson, or Kasich, also. But, if Dtrumps the man, I will vote elsewhere.

  • Jim Bendtsen

    Many GOP middle of the road appeasers on this list, so it’s not surprising they’d pick Rubicon. Cruz is the conservative choice.

    • disqus_dy4eBlzY8p

      Exactly. Not conservatives.