sunny.png
Wednesday May 18th, 2022 11:37AM

Qualls takes lead as Minnesota GOP picks governor candidate

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — Business executive Kendall Qualls took the lead Saturday as Minnesota Republicans met to endorse a candidate to challenge Democratic Gov. Tim Walz in the November election.

Qualls, who would become the state party's first Black gubernatorial candidate if he wins the endorsement, took the lead on the fourth ballot and expanded his margin to 43% on the sixth. Dr. Scott Jensen, a vaccine skeptic and former state senator who led on the first two ballots, had 38%. Lexington Mayor Mike Murphy, who took a razor-thin lead on the third ballot, was eliminated when he slipped to 19% on the sixth ballot. A candidate needs 60% to claim the endorsement.

All had pledged to honor the party’s endorsement and forego the right to run in the Aug. 9 GOP primary, assuming there was no deadlock. Former President Donald Trump, still a potent force within the party, has not endorsed anyone in the Minnesota races.

The 2,200 delegates had to complete their work by a 6 p.m. Saturday deadline for vacating the Rochester Mayo Civic Center, but the relatively fast and smooth electronic voting process Friday appeared to reduce the chances of running out of time and leaving without an endorsement. Delegates and party leaders are hoping at least one of their candidates becomes the first Republican elected to statewide office since Gov. Tim Pawlenty was reelected in 2006.

Qualls highlighted his rise from poverty, to going to college, to becoming an Army officer and a business leader. He said his life is a testament to the failure of the Democratic agenda and shows that the American dream is still alive.

“The radical left thinks I shouldn’t be here. The media doesn’t think I should be here. Tim Walz wishes I wasn’t here at all,” Qualls said to loud applause. “And poor Joe Biden, he tells people that look like me that I’m not Black, that we’re not Black, we didn’t vote for him. Well, after voting for Donald J. Trump for president -- both times -- and I’m still Black. And I’m still Republican. And I’m going to be Joe Biden’s and Tim Walz’s worst nightmare.”

Former Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, a state senator from East Gull Lake who stressed his support for law enforcement, dropped out after the third ballot and threw his support to Qualls. Sen. Michelle Benson, of Ham Lake, who had been a candidate but dropped out before the convention, joined Gazelka in backing Qualls.

Jensen, a family physician from Chaska, got the earliest start in the race and raised the most money. He built a national following as he framed his COVID-19 vaccine skepticism — and opposition to mask mandates and school and business closures — as support for medical freedom. He stressed in his speech his efforts as a state senator to stand up against the Walz administration’s handling of the pandemic.

“Everyone in this room has grasped at some level that Tim Walz has failed. He’s done. But who’s going to step forward? Who’s going to serve for the benefit, security and the protection of all the people? Who’s going to help Minnesota find its way back to be the bright and shining Star of the North?” Jensen asked in a video preceding his speech. “The answer is you.”

Murphy, the mayor of Lexington a small suburb northwest of Minneapolis, slammed Walz for both his handling of the pandemic and the sometimes destructive unrest that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020.

“When Walz shut us down, locked us out of our churches and masked our children, I banned it in my city and shut it down by making my community a health freedom sanctuary city, free of all the COVID nonsense,” Murphy said. “When Walz and (President Joe) Biden attacked our Second Amendment, I defended it in my community by declaring my city a Second Amendment Sanctuary City and I will do that for the state.”

On the fourth ballot Friday night, the convention endorsed business attorney Jim Schultz for attorney general, an office Minnesota Republicans haven’t won since 1968. He's hoping to oust incumbent Keith Ellison, a former congressman who led the prosecution team that won the murder conviction of ex-Officer Derek Chauvin in Floyd's death.

Schultz defeated Doug Wardlow, who was the party's candidate in 2018 and is general counsel at MyPillow. That company's CEO, Mike Lindell, has risen to national prominence for perpetuating the false claim that Trump won the 2020 election. Also losing were former Washington County judge Tad Jude and attorney Lynne Torgerson. Former legislator Dennis Smith plans to challenge Schultz in the GOP primary.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Political Conventions
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Shootings near Milwaukee Bucks playoff game prompt curfew
Downtown Milwaukee will be under a limited curfew for the rest of the weekend and a massive watch party scheduled for Sunday has been called off after 21 people were injured in three separate shootings near an entertainment district where thousands gathered for an NBA playoff game
4:21PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Qualls takes lead as Minnesota GOP picks governor candidate
Business executive Kendall Qualls took the lead as Minnesota Republicans met to endorse a candidate to challenge Democratic Gov. Tim Walz in the November election
4:19PM ( 5 minutes ago )
'Multiple people' shot at Buffalo, New York, supermarket
Multiple people have been shot at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York
4:17PM ( 6 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Falcons QB Ridder early to rise — and lead — at rookie camp
Desmond Ridder is making an impact with his leadership at the Atlanta Falcons rookie minicamp
4:18PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Trump backs Mastriano in Pennsylvania GOP governor primary
Donald Trump has endorsed Doug Mastriano in the Republican primary for governor in Pennsylvania
3:44PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Pair of 7s: Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns happy to be home
The NBA’s long regular season can be tedious, but make no mistake, it matters
3:40PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
McConnell, GOP senators meet Zelenskyy in surprise Kyiv stop
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and a delegation of GOP senators met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv during an unannounced visit to the capital on Saturday
2:10PM ( 2 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: Why stakes are high in trial tied to Russia probe
The first trial resulting from special counsel John Durham’s investigation of the early days of the Trump-Russia probe hardly seems an explosive affair
11:01AM ( 5 hours ago )
Clarence Thomas says abortion leak has changed Supreme Court
Justice Clarence Thomas says that the Supreme Court has been changed by the shocking leak of a draft opinion earlier this month
10:45AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Emmanuel who? Far-right fighting hard-left for French vote
The stakes are high, the fight nasty and the party of centrist President Emmanuel Macron is the one to beat
2:28AM ( 13 hours ago )
GOP's new midterm attack: Blaming Biden for formula shortage
The nationwide shortage of baby formula is quickly becoming the GOP's latest election-year attack on President Joe Biden
12:30AM ( 15 hours ago )
House subpoenas its own, sets new norm after Jan. 6 attack
The Jan. 6 committee’s remarkable decision to subpoena GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other sitting members of Congress over the insurrection at the Capitol is as unprecedented as the deadly riot itself
12:06AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Trump scrambles to fend off Oz challenger in Pa. Senate race
Sensing a threat in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race, Donald Trump has issued a warning that surging Republican candidate Kathy Barnette would upend the GOP’s chances of holding the seat in November
11:46AM ( 1 day ago )
Sri Lankan power family falls from grace as economy tanks
With one brother president, another prime minister and three more family members cabinet ministers, it appeared that the Rajapaksa clan had consolidated its grip on power in Sri Lanka after decades in and out of government
5:29AM ( 1 day ago )
Allies of Marcos Jr. set to dominate Philippine Congress
Allies of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the presumptive next president of the Philippines, appear set to dominate both chambers of Congress, alarming activists after the late dictator son's apparent election victory restored his family to the seat of power
3:07AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
Pa. governor hopeful drops out, backs rival as primary nears
A Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor says he is ending his campaign and endorsing rival Lou Barletta
11:51AM ( 2 days ago )
Trump-backed candidate in Wash. House race appears to stall
There are signs the insurgent candidate backed by former President Donald Trump appears to be faltering in a crowded field of Republicans challenging the GOP incumbent for a U.S. House seat in conservative central Washington state
11:44AM ( 2 days ago )
Biden calls to congratulate presumptive Philippine president
President Joe Biden has called Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to congratulate him on his apparent landslide victory in the Philippine presidential election
5:31AM ( 2 days ago )
General Election News
Marcos Jr. declares victory, faces calls to ensure democracy
Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has declared victory in this week's presidential elections in the Philippines
7:16AM ( 3 days ago )
Marcos Jr. faces calls to ensure democracy, human rights
Presumptive Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is facing early calls to ensure respect for human rights, the rule of law and democracy that contrast starkly with his background as the son and namesake of an ousted dictator
3:19AM ( 3 days ago )
Marcos presidency complicates US efforts to counter China
Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s apparent landslide victory in the Philippines presidential election is raising immediate concerns about a further erosion of democracy in Asia
9:43PM ( 3 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Marcos Jr. won Philippine presidency, unofficial count shows
The namesake son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos appears to have been elected Philippine president in an astonishing reversal of the 1986 “People Power” revolt that ousted his father
8:03AM ( 4 days ago )
Oz's ties to Turkey attacked in Pennsylvania's Senate race
Mehmet Oz’s rivals in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate are escalating their attacks on the celebrity heart surgeon’s connections to his parents’ native country of Turkey, raising it as a possible national security issue
10:33PM ( 1 week ago )
W.Va. House race pits Trump loyalty against infrastructure
A GOP House race between incumbents in West Virginia pits a Donald Trump-endorsed congressman against one who voted with the Democrats for infrastructure funding
8:45AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
Shootings near Milwaukee Bucks playoff game prompt curfew
Downtown Milwaukee will be under a limited curfew for the rest of the weekend and a massive watch party scheduled for Sunday has been called off after 21 people were injured in three separate shootings near an entertainment district where thousands gathered for an NBA playoff game
4:21PM ( 3 minutes ago )
'Multiple people' shot at Buffalo, New York, supermarket
Multiple people have been shot at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York
4:17PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Race tightens as Minnesota GOP picks candidate for governor
Minnesota Republicans are gathered in Rochester to endorse a candidate to challenge Democratic Gov. Tim Walz in the November election
3:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
New Mexico governor seeks more US aid for wildfire response
New Mexico’s governor is asking for additional federal assistance to respond to wildfires burning across the state’s north, including one that is the second-largest in the state’s history and that officials estimate has destroyed hundreds of homes
2:55PM ( 1 hour ago )
Curfew for young people after Milwaukee shootings injure 21
Milwaukee officials have enacted a curfew for young people and added extra patrols after 21 people were injured in three downtown shootings near an entertainment district where thousands gathered for an NBA playoff game
2:21PM ( 2 hours ago )