Minnesota Republicans Endorse No One in Special Election Former Rep. Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn. (Bruce Kluckhohn/AP)
After seven ballots and considerable political infighting, the Republican convention in Minnesota’s 1st District ended this weekend with no endorsement for a candidate to succeed the late GOP Rep. Jim Hagedorn.
As a result, 10 candidates are expected to go into the GOP primary May 24. The special election for the remainder of Hagedorn’s term will be held Aug. 9, on the same day both parties select nominees for a full term.
State Rep. Jeremy Munson, a former 1st District Republican chairman, led on all seven ballots and his numbers grew with each vote. But he could never reach the 60% of the party conclave needed to give him the critical endorsement.
"This was a case of the establishment working together to stop the most conservative candidate," Munson told Newsmax shortly after the vote. Rated 98% by the American Conservative Union, Munson, 46, has the endorsement of the House Freedom Caucus.
When the convention opened in Mankato Saturday morning, Kentucky’s Republican Sen. Rand Paul gave his blessing to the conservative hopeful.
Munson’s supporters charged that his two leading opponents at the convention worked in collusion to stop his endorsement. Brad Finstad, a former U.S. Department of Agriculture official and past state legislator, and Jennifer Carnahan, Hagedorn’s widow and former GOP state chair, placed second and third respectively throughout the balloting.
Despite Carnahan’s obvious tie to the late congressman, Munson pointed out that "many of Jim’s strongest supporters were in my corner."
In his remarks to the convention, Munson reminded delegates that "I placed Jim Hagedorn’s name in nomination at this very same hall four years ago"—when Hagedorn made it to Congress on his fourth try.
Democrats are expected to make an all-out effort to pick up Hagedorn’s old seat. The leading Democratic contenders are retired Hormel Corporation head Jeff Ettinger and former Bush administration ethics lawyer Richard Painter.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.