Mark Sommerhauser at the St. Cloud Times reports on two big shakeups in the contest to replace Michele Bachmann in Sivarajah will take her 6th District campaign to a primary.
First the headline news:
Anoka County Board chair Rhonda Sivarajah will take her campaign to a GOP primary election, she confirmed Wednesday in an interview with the Times. . . .
Sivarajah still intends to seek the Republican endorsement Saturday, but said she expects Emmer to garner delegates' support on the first ballot. Emmer, the 2010 Republican nominee for governor and a former state representative from Delano, boasts a commanding lead in campaign funds raised and widespread name ID from his statewide run four years ago.
And the Krinkie bombshell:
The other 6th District GOP candidate, former state Rep. Phil Krinkie, said Wednesday that he won't attend Saturday's convention or seek the party's endorsement. Krinkie also said for the first time that he's mulling a third-party run for Congress, but said he still sees a Republican primary run as his most likely path forward. . . .
Krinkie, explaining his decision to forego Saturday's endorsing convention, cited poor participation in this year's Republican caucuses and what he described as a "top-down process" among Republicans in picking a congressional nominee. Krinkie also said he feels it would be hypocritical to seek the party endorsement, then ignore it by running in a primary.
In floating the possibility of a third-party run for the first time Wednesday, Krinkie said he has been asked if he would consider running as a Constitution Party candidate. He also said he has spoken to Tom Horner, the Independence Party's candidate in 2010. The Independence Party last week endorsed a Forest Lake man, John Denney, for the 6th District seat.
Since the Independence Party has meager resources, it's possible that the fiscally and socially conservative Krinkie could win the day on name recognition.
Would a split conservative vote in November create a pick-up opportunity for the DFL? November is a long way away but the prospect of a brutal primary and conservative alternative may cause Tom Emmer to experience a 2010-esque defeat all over again.
Emmer lost to Governor Mark Dayton by under 9000 votes, in part because Horner drew moderate Republicans from the Emmer ticket. Is Krinkie spoiling for another Emmer defeat?
Photo: Phil Krinkie. Why is this man laughing?
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