After a fairly organized event for Minnesota's DFL yesterday, thanks to Chair Brian Melendez and Associate Chair Donna Cassutt, the party will be endorsing a candidate for Minnesota's gubernatorial race today. Rumor has it Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak may hold a slight lead over MN Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson-Kelliher with Rep. Paul Thissen in third place. It's expected that Rep. Tom Rukavina and John Marty will split about 10% of the total delegate vote. But we're talking politics -- and anything can happen.
Contingents from the Anderson-Kelliher and Thissen campaigns marched once around the room as delegates filled their seats. This was followed by a short video message from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi after which Congressman Tim Walz (CD5) addressed the room.
Which candidate are you pulling for? Do you think the "no endorsement" camp will sway the outcome? Do you have any questions about what's going on? Comments? Stay tuned for live updates!
10:15 a.m.: We have nominations made and seconded for R. T. Rybak, Paul Thissen, Matt Entenza, Mark Dayton, Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, John Marty, Ole Savior and Peter Idusogie. Â the nomination for Dayton came as a surprise to many because his campaign strategy has been to achieve "No Endorsement" coming out of this convention.
12:00 p.m.: Rybak opened the speeches, which are being given in order previously decided upon by lot. He's got a good showing and it's tough to go first. Ole Savior gave a sort of a speech next - mostly rambling - the crowd got restless. Entenza used his full 15 minutes, but then refused the nomination stating that he respects the DFL but it is with regret that he will go all the way to the primary without endorsement because "We need to win."
Paul Thissen also had a pretty good showing and focused on his message that "The stakes are high; the time is now." He intelligently articulated a vision for the state of Minnesota that embraces real Minnesota (and DFL) values. Â He said "It is time to stop playing not to lose; it's time to start playing to win....It's time to shed mistakes of the past and embrace the future."
Tom Rukavina's speech was well received by his supporters and everyone else's. He opened with a personal letter from Paul Wellstone and offered an alternative to the "big city Mayor" and "someone who was chosen for you by insiders long before your precinct caucuses." His staff passed out copies of Wellstone's letter and he will likely now do better today than expected.
2:10 p.m.: Just wrapping up a 60-minute question and answer period (more on that later) and the 10-minute warning to freeze the floor has been issued. When that happens, the first round of voting will begin.
4:29 p.m. Round 1 Results:
Margaret Anderson-Kelliher 365.5 votes (27%)
RT Rybak 294 votes (21.7%)
Paul Thissen 254.5 votes (18.8%)
Tom Rukavina 249.5 votes (18.4%)
John Marty 175.5 votes (13%)
No Endorsement 6.5 votes (.5%)
Matt Entenza 3.5 votes (3%)
Peter Idusogie 3 votes (.3%)
Ole Savior 0 votes (0%)
6:10 p.m. Round 2 Results:
Round 2: 1,356 votes cast
Margaret Anderson-Kelliher 377.5 / 27.8%
RT RybakÂ 332 / 24.5%
Paul Thissen 270 / 19.9%
Tom Rukavina 238 / 17.6%
John Marty 136 / 10%
Sen. John Marty has just conceded.
While the third round of ballots is being counted, Sen. Tom Bakk is addressing the room. "I wish there wasn't going to be a primary...I still want to reach out to candidates and ask them not to. This election is too important. But it appears we're going to have one and I just want to remind everyone in the room - we need to elect a democrat in governor....so please think about that."
7:15 p.m. Round 3 Results:
Round 3: 1,351 votes cast
Margaret Anderson-Kelliher 414.5 / 30.7%
RT Rybak 370 / 27.4%
Paul Thissen 295 / 21.8%
Tom Rukavina 269 / 19.9%
No endorsement 2.5 / 0.2%
Tom Rukavina conceded and asked his delegates to vote for Margaret Anderson-Kelliher in Round 5.
8:40 p.m.Round 4 Results:
Round 3: 1,332.5 votes cast
Margaret Anderson-Kelliher 437 32.8%
RT Rybak 380.5 / 28.6%
Paul Thissen 285 / 21.4%
Tom Rukavina 226 / 17%
No endorsement 4 / 0.3%
The floor is frozen as Round 5 begins.
9:25 p.m.: A 25-minute recess is called so groups like reNEW MN can meet. The motion to recess was approved by remaining candidates Kelliher, Rybak and Thissen.
9:50p.m.Round 5 Results:
Round 5: 1,344 votes cast (807 required for endorsement; 20% required to stay in the race)
Margaret Anderson-Kelliher 630.5 / 46.9%
RT Rybak: 434 / 32.3%
Paul Thissen: 269.5 / 20.1%
No endorsement: 9 / 0.7%
There was 1 spoiled ballot.
10:02 p.m.: Rep. Paul Thissen addressed the delegation. He thanked everyone and conceded the race.
11:09 p.m. Rybak Concedes
Margaret Anderson-Kelliher will be the DFL candidate for governor.