Members of the First District Republicans' Central Committee voted overwhelmingly last night to hold an endorsing convention for 1st District candidate Jim Hagedorn, according to First District Republicans Chairwoman Carol Stevenson.
Hagedorn defeated Republican-endorsed candidate Aaron Miller in the Aug. 12 primary. It's the first time in recent memory that the endorsed congressional candidate has lost in the primary. It lead to the question of whether an endorsing convention was really necessary given that Hagedorn is the only Republican on the ballot and the state party indicated it would provide him with requested resources whether he was officially endorsed or not. Hagedorn is challenging four-term 1st District DFL Rep. Tim Walz.
Stevenson said she is working to set up a convention in Mankato as soon as possible. Republican party rules require that delegates be given at least five days warning before a convention is called.
Republican Party of Olmsted County Chairman Bruce Kaskubar is a member of the committee. He had been leaning towards not holding a convention because of the added cost and expense. Kaskubar had prepared a motion to not hold a convention and have the committee vote to show it's support for Hagedorn, but did not end up offering it. He made a motion to not hold a convention but have the committee vote to show their support for Hagedorn.* During the discussion, Kaskubar said some questioned with the Republican Party of Minnesota's constitution required that candidates be formally endorsed in order to receive access to party resources. In the end, he said the committee vote was nearly unanimous in favor of the endorsing convention.