DFL State Convention

What a weekend. These last few days were full of twists and turns and some very exciting but unexpected endorsements. The DFL State Convention in Rochester was an interesting ordeal, but one I quite enjoyed. This was my first state convention, and I attended as both an endorsed candidate and a delegate. My wife Denise attended as an alternate, and was unfortunately unable to receive an upgrade until Sunday, as several of the participants left a day early.

Friday came with our most expected endorsements: Steve Simon, Amy Klobuchar, and Tina Smith. Certainly, our sitting Senators are the most likely to get endorsed, and Steve Simon ran unopposed, but it was wonderful news nonetheless. The newly endorsed Senators threw quite an after party with a Prince tribute band and more dancing from Senator Klobuchar than I would have expected.

Saturday was the big day, as the gubernatorial endorsement seemed like it could have gone in several different directions. First, though, another race went in an unexpected direction. I want to congratulate Matt Pelikan on his endorsement. The first ballot, while 4 points up for Lori Swanson, ended in a very surprising move from our current Attorney General. She dropped out. Matt Pelikan proved that he has amazing support behind him, though, and I'm proud to support him and his excellent progressive platform.

The gubernatorial race was of course, the most contentious and longest event of the day. I want to thank every single one of our candidates, as they all have shown phenomenal drive in getting Minnesotans excited for this midterm. On the fourth ballot, the numbers showed Erin Murphy in the lead, but 8 points shy of the 60% margin necessary for endorsement. That's when I gave my speech to the floor.

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I had most the CD6 delegation join me on stage and pouring around the stage as I gave my speech (everyone wearing swag for our yet-to-be endorsed candidates could not be present on the stage, unfortunately). CD6 is united, and I'm proud to have the some of the most devoted DFLers behind me. We're going to take this election by storm with the force of our convictions. It was wonderful to speak to everyone, and I can't begin to tell everyone who approached me afterwards how much I appreciate your kind words.

Back to the race. By the sixth ballot, Erin Murphy was only two points away from obtaining the endorsement. That's when Tim Walz decided to drop out, and we endorsed Erin Murphy. Congratulations, Erin, I know you will be an absolutely astounding Governor.

Sunday was a little quieter. Denise was able to join me on the floor for a wonderful twist; the State Auditor race was another neck in neck battle between two amazing candidates. Julie Blaha, an Anoka native, came out with the endorsement in the end. She has been a fighter for equal rights for her entire life, and her background in mathematics will serve her well as our next Auditor. Finally, we met our new Lt. Governor candidate running with Erin Murphy, Erin Maye-Quade. I consider this move a promise from Erin Murphy to stay strong on running on her progressive values, and I could hardly be more thrilled.

This is such an exciting year to be a Congressional candidate. Minnesota has an amazing roster of strong progressives from the top to the bottom, and I'm proud to be part of it!