Today Minnesota’s Republican convention selected Representative Tom Emmer as its nominee to replace Tim Pawlenty as Governor. Emmer competed for the nomination against Marty Seifert, who was Minority Leader of the House in recent years. Both candidates were thoroughgoing conservatives. I never endorsed either one because there was nothing to choose between them on the issues. The question came down to electability, and I figured the ability to get the nomination is as good a test of electability as anything.
From Emmer’s perspective, 2010 was the ideal year: he ran as an outsider and tended to be the darling of insurgents associated, for example, with the Tea Party movement. A few days ago, Sarah Palin endorsed him, which had to be a boost. From here on, I will be an enthusiastic Emmer supporter. But Marty Seifert deserves a fond and respectful farewell. As House Minority Leader, he worked closely with Pawlenty and with the party’s activists. Time after time, he held his caucus together to sustain Pawlenty’s vetoes of the Democrats’ crazy spending plans. There were barely enough Republicans in the House to sustain a veto, and not enough in the Senate. But Pawlenty and the House minority, under Seifert’s strong leadership, brought the Democrats to heel time after time. So Seifert deserves the thanks of every Minnesotan.
At this point, Emmer’s chances look good. Everyone thinks of Minnesota as a Democratic state, but do you know when the state last elected a Democratic governor? 1986.
We will continue to follow this race from now until November.
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