Rochester, Minn. ( Associated Press) – Dr. Scott Jensen, a vaccine skeptic and former state senator, closed Saturday on the Minnesota GOP’s support for challenging Democratic Gov. in the November election.
Jensen, who led the first two ballots, took the lead with 59% on the seventh ballot, just below the 60% threshold needed to claim support, when Lexington Mayor Mike Murphy on the sixth ballot. Supported them after it ended.
This put Jensen ahead of business executive Kendall Qualls, Which fell to 39% on the seventh ballot. Qualls took the lead on the fourth ballot. Jensen slipped to 57% on the eighth ballot and Qualls rose to 41% when Qualls told delegates that Murphy had falsely claimed that Qualls had offered to make Murphy his running mate, then withdrew the offer, This angered some delegates. Qualls was hoping to become the first black governor of the Minnesota GOP.
All had pledged to respect the party’s support and relinquish the right to run in the August 9 GOP primaries, assuming there was no deadlock. Former President Donald Trump, still a powerful force within the party, Minnesota has not endorsed anyone in the race.
2,100 delegates were supposed to complete their work by 6 p.m. Saturday to clear the Rochester Mayo Civic Center, but a relatively fast and smooth electronic voting process took place on Friday. Appeared to reduce the chances of timing out and leaving without approval. Representatives and party leaders are hoping that at least one of their candidates becomes the first Republican elected to office statewide. Since the re-election of Governor Tim Pavlenti in 2006.
Jensen, a family doctor from Chaska, started the race early and raised the most money. He garnered a national following in the form of his COVID-19 vaccine skepticism – and his opposition to mask mandates and school and business closures – as an endorsement of medical freedom. In his speech, he emphasized his efforts as a state senator to take a stand against the Walz administration’s handling of the pandemic.
“Everyone in this room has understood on some level that Tim Walz has failed. He did it. But who will step forward? Who will serve for the benefit, safety, and security of all people? Who answers Minnesota? is going to help us become a bright and shining star?” Jensen asked in a video before his speech. “The answer is you.”
Jensen was frequently on stage with his running names, the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens Matt Birk, who reminded delegates that she refused to go to the White House after the Ravens’ 2013 Super Bowl victory because of President Barack Obama’s support for abortion rights.
Quolls highlights his rise from poverty to college, becoming an army officer and business leader. He said his life is a testament to the failure of the Democratic agenda and shows that the American dream is still alive.
“The radical left thinks I shouldn’t be here. The media doesn’t think I should be here. Tim Walz wishes I wasn’t here at all,” said Qualls, applauding loudly. “And poor Joe Biden, he tells people who look like me that I’m not black, that we’re not black, We didn’t vote for him. Well, for President Donald J. After I voted for Trump – both times – and I’m still black. And I’m still a Republican. And I’m going to be Joe Biden and Tim Walz’s worst nightmare.
Former Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, a state senator from East Gull Lake Those who asserted their support for law enforcement dropped out after the third ballot and extended their support to Qualls. Ham Lake’s Sen. Michelle Benson, who was the candidate but dropped out Before the convention, Gazelka joined in support of Qualls.
Murphy, the mayor of Lexington, a small suburb northwest of Minneapolis, slammed Walz for his handling of the pandemic and the sometimes devastating unrest following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020.
Murphy said, “When Walz locked us up, kicked us out of our churches and masked our children, I banned it in my city and closed down our community by making it a health freedom sanctuary town.” ,” said Murphy. “When Walz and (President Joe) Biden attacked our Second Amendment, I defended it in my community by declaring my city a Second Amendment sanctuary city, and I will do so for the state.”
However, it was unclear on Saturday whether the supported candidate would survive a serious primary challenge. Former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, The one seeking approval was recently sidelined by a car accident and when he recovered he left the conference and did not announce the decision.
“Rich and his campaign team are evaluating all options going forward to defeat Walz in November,” his campaign said in a statement Saturday.
On Friday night, the conference endorsed business attorney Jim Schultz. For attorney general, an office a Minnesota Republican has not won since 1968. He is hoping to oust Keith Ellison, a former congressman who led the prosecution. Who won the sentence for the murder of former officer Derek Chauvin in Floyd’s death.
Schultz defeated Doug Wardlow, who was the party’s candidate in 2018. and MyPillow have general counselors. That company’s CEO, Mike Lindell, has risen to national prominence for perpetuating the false claim that Trump won the 2020 election. In addition, former Washington County Judge Tad Judd and Attorney Lynn Torgerson also lost. Former legislator Dennis Smith plans to challenge Schultz in the GOP primary.