The Mankato Free Press reports in Republicans getting head start in special election that under the rules set by Governor Dayton for the special election, the DFL convention call for House District 19A will trigger a primary for Democratic candidates.
Local party rules dictate a ten-day notice for an endorsing convention.
Staff writer Mark Fischenich explains:
But Democrats found out Tuesday that they don't just have a special election to contend with on Feb. 12 -- they'll also have an unintended special primary election on Jan. 29. That's because there are three Democrats in the race, and the party's endorsing convention on Jan. 19 will fall too late for the non-endorsed Democrats to withdraw from the race as they had pledged to do.
. . .So if the Republicans stay unified [after their Thursday night convention], their nominee will have a 19-day head start in campaigning before Democrats officially settle on their choice in the Jan. 29 primary. . .
Nicollet County DFL Chairman Jim Fleming said there's no way for the DFL endorsing convention to be moved up to Jan. 15 or sooner because delegates must be given 10 days notice under party rules. . .
So why didn't Democrats shoot for an earlier date for their convention from the outset, considering that Morrow announced he would be resigning his seat on Dec. 19? Fleming said party leaders considered Jan. 12th but wanted all potential candidates to have time to contemplate a run.
Bluestem has heard rumors of at least one more candidate hopping in the race. The primary will cost additional resources on the part of election staff and election judges in Blue Earth, LeSueur and Nicollet Counties.
The Free Press reports one bright side for the eventual DFL candidate:
. . .about 2,500 Gustavus Adolphus College students, who return to campus on Feb. 11, will be in St. Peter for the election -- and Gustie-heavy precincts have provided the winning margin for Democratic candidates in past legislative elections.
Stay tuned for additional news.
Photo: Nicollet County's courthouse will get a real workout if there are indeed both a primary in the special election.
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