DFL State Convention in Duluth continues Saturday with more endorsements

By KBJR News 1

May 31, 2014 Updated May 31, 2014 at 6:49 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Nearly 1,300 Democratic Farmer Labor Party delegates were expected to endorse Governor Mark Dayton and Senator Al Franken for re–election at the DFL state convention, in Duluth, Saturday.

While the two men were running unopposed for the endorsement, other state races for DFL backing leading up to an August primary were hot until the moment of truth.

A competitive race for the party backing of Secretary of State came to a head after the first ballot was cast, with the endorsement of State Representative Steve Simon of Saint Louis Park over Debra Hilstrom of Brooklyn Center.

Both were seeking an endorsement to replace current Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who is not seeking re–election.

Meanwhile, the DFL has also endorsed Rebecca Otto for her third term as State Auditor.

Political experts say November's mid–term election is usually a time when the President's party loses seats most often in the House, and sometimes the Senate.

But DFL Chairman Ken Martin says he's confident the party's progress this legislative session will help counter that possible trend in Minnesota.

"When you think about the fact that we have the fifth fastest growing economy in the country, we have the lowest unemployment rate," said DFL Chairman Ken Martin at Saturday's convention, "one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, we've added over 200,000 new jobs since Governor Dayton has taken over, we have more Minnesotans working in this state than ever before in our state's history."

Meanwhile, former State Representative Dan Severson has won the GOP endorsement for Secretary of State this fall.

Randy Gilbert, who lost the GOP endorsement for state auditor's office in 2010, has earned the backing this time around.

Billy Wagness