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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

DAYTON APPARENT DFL WINNER; KELLIHER REFUSES TO CONCEDE

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17 Comments:

Anonymous Pioneer Press said...

By Bill Salisbury
bsalisbury@pioneerpress.com
Updated: 08/11/2010 06:24:29 AM CDT


Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton appears to narrowly have won the Democratic-Farmer-Labor nomination for Minnesota governor early today.

Dayton came from behind to apparently defeat state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL endorsed candidate who had led in early returns.

The Associated Press declared Dayton the winner at 12:25 a.m. But Kelliher refused to concede defeat. "We're going to make sure every vote counts," she said.

Dayton said he wouldn't declare victory until the results are final and he hears from Kelliher.

"I totally respect Speaker Kelliher's preogative to wait until every vote is counted," he said.

With 95 percent of the state's 4,136 precincts reporting, Dayton had 41 percent of the vote to Kelliher's 40 percent.

Meanwhile, Republican-endorsed candidate Tom Emmer crushed three obscure opponents, receiving 83 percent of the votes in the GOP primary.

The Independence Party's Tom Horner won a landslide victory in his party's primary, taking 65 percent of the votes to Rob Hahn's 14 percent.

Dayton will face Emmer, a conservative legislator from Delano, and Horner, a public relations executive and moderate former Republican, in the general election Nov. 2.

At Kelliher's campaign party at Jax Cafe in Northeast Minneapolis, a few hundred supporters cheered, clapped and hooted as their candidate held a narrow lead late into the evening. At one point, Kelliher led by more than 15,000 votes.

By 11 p.m., the lead had
dropped to about 10,000 with about 60 percent of precincts reporting. Her lead evaporated by midnight.
"Tonight is your night. You did the work. And I know Margaret is so grateful to all of you," U.S. Sen. Al Franken told the crowd.

"But we have to wait. I know about (waiting), you know," he joked, referring his drawn-out 2008 recount with Sen. Norm Coleman.

Dayton apparently won by a wide enough margin — more than 0.5 percentage points — to avoid an automatic recount. Kelliher has the right to request one, but she would have to pay for it.

Emmer and Horner launched their general election campaigns moments after the primary results were in.

"I'm glad we're moving on to the next phase, the final 84 days," Emmer said in an interview.

For the past few months, the three DFL candidates were "beating the living tar out of me," he said. In addition, his campaign stumbled frequently, leading him to shake up his staff last weekend.

"Now we can focus on our message of a new direction and real reform," Emmer said. "Their (DFL) message is more government intervention and higher taxes. Our message is less government and lower taxes so individuals and businesses ... can create jobs."

Horner said he won the IP primary because "we took nothing for granted and did all the right things.''

He switched parties this year and hopes to persuade enough moderate, disenchanted Republican and Democratic voters to put him into office.

"Clearly, the challenge now is we have to take everything we have done this summer and multiply it a couple of times over,'' he said.

The DFL contest pitted Kelliher, an up-through-the-ranks party regular, against Dayton, a well-known veteran who could finance a multimillion-dollar campaign with his family fortune.

Kelliher won the DFL endorsement April 24 at the party's convention in Duluth after topping seven male rivals in a bruising, five-ballot contest.

But long before then, Dayton announced he would run in the primary regardless of whom the delegates endorsed.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous story continued said...

Dayton's win is likely to put another hole in the DFL endorsing system. It showed that party activists couldn't deliver the votes at the ballot box to make their choice stick.

Republicans, by contrast, have routinely backed their party's endorsed candidates in primaries.

Dayton, an heir to his family's department store fortune, spent more than $3 million on his primary campaign. But Entenza spent more than $5 million of his family's fortune. Kelliher, whose family is not wealthy, managed to raise more than $1 million for her bid.

Dayton and Entenza overwhelmed Kelliher with television advertising.

But Dayton, 63, of Minneapolis, started the race with several other advantages. He had run statewide four previous times, winning twice in U.S. Senate and auditor's races.

As a result, his name is virtually a household word across Minnesota, and that name recognition helped make him the frontrunner in all the pre-primary polls.

He was elected to the Senate in 2000, largely because he was an outspoken advocate for health care for seniors. He has been a favorite of older voters since then, and seniors typically turn out to vote in larger numbers than younger voters.

Dayton left the Senate in disgust after one term. He earlier served one term as state auditor and headed the state's energy and economic development department under Gov. Rudy Perpich.

Kelliher, 42, also of Minneapolis, was out to prove that a ground game — an army of thousands of volunteers talking directly to voters — could beat her wealthy rivals' television air games.

After being elected to the House in 2000, she rose rapidly in leadership, gaining the speaker's office, the second most powerful office in state government, in 2007.

She was born and raised on a farm near Mankato and demonstrated her leadership skills early as a state 4-H president, dairy princess and high school class president.

She entered politics while completing her bachelor's degree at Gustavus Adolphus College, leaving the school in the spring of 1990 to manage the state auditor's campaign of Dayton. She's been immersed in politics ever since then.

Only about one in 10 Minnesota voters was expected to vote in the primary, a low turnout caused in part by switching the date of the election from September to August, the height of the state's vacation season, in order to give overseas military personnel enough time to receive and return ballots. But turnout exceeded expectations.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous story conclusion said...

While the early primary and stormy weather deterred some voters, others were determined to support their favorite candidates.

Connie Cocchiarella of Woodbury brought her grandson in a stroller to Lake Junior High School in Woodbury, where she voted for Entenza.

"He stands for education," she said, especially for those with physical or mental challenges. That could one day help her grandson, who is a "special needs" child, she said.

At the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in St. Paul, Kate O'Toole brought her 11-year-old son Jonny to watch her vote for Kelliher.

"She has a clear vision, and she has proven she can bring bipartisan ideas and people together. We don't need more polarization," O'Toole said.

"I like Dayton and Entenza, but Kelliher has a better grip. And she has no agenda beyond the state," she said, asserting that Govs. Jesse Ventura and Tim Pawlenty have tried to use Minnesota as a "steppingstone."

At Friendly Hills Middle School in Mendota Heights, Ruth Keenan of Mendota Heights said she supports the DFL platform but she voted for Dayton.

"I like his moderate approach," Keenan said.

In Stillwater, city resident Carrie Andersson voted at the Oak Park Elementary School and voted for Emmer. "He is the most conservative, both fiscally and with the family values, that we have," she said.

"I am concerned about spending getting so high" at the state and federal level. "I am concerned about the future for my family," she said, as 3-year-old daughter Elise fiddled with her "I voted" sticker.

The IP's Horner got a vote from Viola Brown of Lake Elmo. "I definitely wasn't going to vote Republican, and I couldn't make up my mind which Democrat to vote for,'' she said.

Brown offered added another reason for going with the IP: "I would like to see three strong parties instead of two.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Mark Dayton has shown he has a big heart. Years ago when Bill Dahns campaign bus was vandalized (all tires slashed), Mark Dayton bought new tires for the bus. These tires aren't cheap either.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you saw any of his commercials, you'd know that he's been my choice. Good to hear you have a decent view of him. He is decent person.

Eric

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Ralph said...

Good to hear from you Eric.

I gotta tell yah Emmers is the man!

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah he bought tires for Dahn but he was probably running for something. If there was no election going on then Dayton would probably have wanted to take the tires and salvage them.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:45,
The moment you put 'probably' in your sentence you are deviating from the facts and interjecting your own innuendo. It tells us much more about you, than about the subject we were discussing.

Eric

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Eric going to associate with decent persons now?

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haen't heard at all what Dayton has acomplished if anything while serving as Senator except that he bought his way in .

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

V*

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, Norm Coleman didn't do squat either. Until Wellstone was murdered, at least he stood up for Minnesotans and accomplished during his term !!!

7:09 PM  
Anonymous LINK said...

Dayton facts

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the fuk do you know about what Dayton has accomplished Eric ??

Do we elect bafoons because their decent and rich !!! ?

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say all you want about Dayton but I won't be voting socialist in November. This constant "taxathon" and class warfare has got to come to an end and that's all these Democrats do is play everyone against each other. Get everyone hating each other is their game and a lot of people are not going ot buy it any longer.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric thinks everything is great in Obammaville. NOT!!!

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobama in 2012

11:05 AM  

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