Republican candidate for U.S. Senate David Carlson will not participate at the 2014 Republican Party of Minnesota State Convention later this week due to a disagreement with leadership of the Republican Party of Minnesota over nominating requirements at the convention.
Carlson’s dispute centers on when he was notified by the Republican Party of Minnesota about the signature requirements for candidates seeking endorsement. The Republican Party of Minnesota’s Constitution requires candidates seeking endorsement to submit “…the printed names and signatures of a minimum of 2% of the State Convention Delegate.”
The signature requirement to be nominated for endorsement has existed since the late ’90s and was most recently modified in 2009, to lower the number of signatures required to be nominated.
Carlson was first informed last Friday about the signature requirement by leadership of the Republican Party of Minnesota. The timing of when Carlson was notified about the signature requirement was delayed because the initial e-mail to his campaign was sent to the wrong address by the Republican Party of Minnesota.
In 2012, Carlson challenged the 2012 Republican endorsed candidate for the U.S. Senate Kurt Bills in the primary election. Carlson won two Congressional Districts (1st & 7th) and almost won the 8th Congressional District, losing to Bills by less than two percentage points.
The total number of delegates for the 2014 Republican Party of Minnesota State Convention is 2222. A minimum of 44 signatures (2 percent of 2222) must be submitted to the Nominations Committee by 12 PM on Thursday for a candidate to be considered for endorsement for U.S. Senate and Friday by 12 PM for governor.
The leadership of Republican Party of Minnesota offered Carlson an additional 24 hours to gather signatures. This would have allowed Carlson to seek signatures during the Republican Party of Minnesota State Central Committee meeting on Thursday evening and on Friday morning, which is the first day of the convention.
Dave Thul, chair of the Nominations Committee, also offered to address the entire convention and explain the reason why Carlson would be allowed to collect signatures after the deadline. This offer was rejected by Carlson, who will now bypass the convention and run in the upcoming primary election in August. Carlson’s intention was always to seek, but not abide by, the Republican Party of Minnesota’s endorsement for U.S. Senate.
The Republican Party of Minnesota is focused on resolving the dispute with Carlson. Thul said tonight, “It’s our hope that David’s campaign takes us up on our offer of an extension, so we can pass him through the nominations committee and be considered for endorsement.”
Carlson isn’t budging from his position. “The party process is broken,” said Carlson, “my message is focused on winning voters in the primary election, instead of focusing on an inter-party squabble.”
Please check back to politics.mn this week for analysis and information on the DFL and Republican Party of Minnesota State Conventions.