When we last left Emo Senator, Southern Minnesota's most watched telenovela, Mike Parry and Allen Quist were sleeping off the wild, liquorless and decisionless weekend endorsing convention while their supporters publicly squabbled on social media.
As we return for another episode of the never-ending story of the Belle of Waseca County, Allen Quist is pointing out the difficulties of setting a date for the next session of wooing delegates. The Faribault Daily News' Jaci Smith reports in Legalities delay selection of Faribault's GOP pick for Congressional District 1:
It’s all about the legality.
And because of that, it could become a primary.
That’s what is happening on the Republican side of the race to challenge incumbent DFLer U.S. Rep. Tim Walz in the newly redrawn Congressional 1st District.
After the epic April 21 convention, where 14 hours and 23 ballots could not determine whether the GOP would be represented by retired professor Al Quist or state Sen. Mike Parry, district leaders woke up this week to a problem.
Legally, the district’s Central Committee cannot convene for a meeting without first giving 10 days’ notice.
Legally, the Central Committee cannot call for another convention without giving 10 days’ notice first.
Furthermore, convention delegates in the wee hours of the morning of April 22 voted to instruct the Central Committee to hold another convention in two to three weeks, but delegates lack the authority to instruct the committee to do anything.
Quist’s campaign noted this in an email sent Thursday, and the fact that the calendar won’t permit a convention before June 2.
The Post Bulletin's Heather Carlson reports in Next Parry/Quist face-off not yet scheduled:
[CD1 Chair Dave] Kruse said he expects the central committee will meet in two weeks to discuss calling a convention. If members agree to call a convention, it looks like it might end up being Saturday, June 2. That's because the weekend of May 18-19 is the state Republican convention and the weekend after that is Memorial Day weekend. Republicans need to act before the June 5 deadline for candidates to file for election.
In an email to supporters on Thursday, Quist wrote "we have no guarantee that the CD1 Central Committee will ultimately agree to a new convention." He notes if the convention is called for June 2, it would be six weeks after the last convention — as opposed to two to three weeks later as delegates requested. With that getting close to the election filing, he advised supporters to "stay tuned!"
Critics at the Marshall Independent give the delays a sideways thumb:
After more than 14 hours and 23 ballots, one would think a candidate to take on DFL Congressman Tim Walz in the 1st District would've won out, but it didn't happen in a recent GOP district convention that was supposed to filter out Walz's challenger - either state Sen. Mike Parry or activist Allen Quist, neither of whom got close to the 60 percent of votes needed to win the endorsement. The final ballot put Quist at 52 percent, meaning another convention will have to take place soon. Is this a bad sign for the GOP? Not necessarily, but the fact that neither candidate was able to garner the endorsement might not bode well for the party come November and raises the electability question of the eventual winner to new heights.
And Wall Street Journal political theater critic Matther Payne suggests that a long primary battle is so not a good thing for our hero in Minnesota Marathon:
The convention could have voted to give "no endorsement" and take the contest to a late summer primary. However, that would all but eliminate the chances for a Republican to win there. And the seat is very winnable for the GOP.
In 2006 Democratic Congressman Tim Walz upset a six-term Republican. Last election cycle, Mr. Walz held on with less than 50% of the vote. A solid candidate with a sizable war chest would stand a good chance of unseating him. And those were the exact arguments candidates made throughout the entire ordeal.
Mr. Payne must have been listening only to Quist, who promised to spend a cool million, even if he had to bet the farm on it. Emo Senator Mike Parry, on the other hand, thought his sunny personality would win over the Reagan Democrats. Parry raised just over $17,000 in the first quarter of 2012.
Meanwhile, Kruse told Josh Moniz at the New Ulm Journal that many Republicans hope the second endorsing convention will be shorter.
Tune in to the next episode of Emo Senator.
Photo: Will Mike Parry be a June bride or will CD1 Republican Bachelorette drag out into August?