At Issue: June 3 - Johnson, Murphy Win Endorsements for Governor

June 03, 2018 05:44 PM

Vote 2018: Johnson, Murphy Win Party Endorsements for Minnesota Governor

A weekend of big decisions and drama on opposite ends of the state are setting the stage for what should be a busy and contentious midterm election season in Minnesota.


Delegates from both the DFL and GOP parties endorsed candidates for key statewide races this fall, including the U.S. Senate and Governor.

Jeff Johnson easily won the GOP endorsement for governor in Duluth. He will face a difficult primary challenge against former governor Tim Pawlenty.

It took seven ballots and a lot of drama for State Rep. Erin Murphy to secure the DFL endorsement for governor. Murphy was locked in a three-way race with Congressman Tim Walz and State Auditor Rebecca Otto. Walz had said he will go to a primary if he did not secure the endorsement.

DFL delegates endorsed Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith for U.S. Senate. Klobuchar is vying for her third term, while Smith will be making her first official run for public office. Smith was appointed to the seat after Al Franken resigned in a sexual misconduct scandal. GOP delegates endorsed State Rep. Jim Newberger to challenge Klobuchar and State Sen. Karin Housley to challenge Smith.

One of the biggest surprises out of either convention was when Attorney General Lori Swanson lost the DFL endorsement for a fourth term to challenger Matt Pelikan. A spokesman says Swanson will consider her options, which could include a primary against Pelikan, or even a last-minute run for governor.

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DFLers also endorsed Steve Simon for a second term as Secretary of State. They'll endorse a candidate for State Auditor on Sunday. 

GOPers endorsed Pam Myhra for State Auditor, Doug Wardlow for Attorney General and John Howe for Secretary of State. 


Amanda Theisen

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