By Esme Murphy

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article misidentified the location of the DFL convention as Duluth.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just under three weeks from now, delegates will go to the DFL endorsing convention in Rochester and choose candidates for a number of races, including governor.

In past years, it’s been pretty clear who would lock up the endorsement but this year there is a lot of uncertainty.

In the DFL race for governor, Congressman Tim Walz, who won the February caucuses, has a commanding lead when it comes to fundraising.

But Walz is more conservative than many of the delegates who will be attending the Rochester convention.

For example, in the past year, he has changed his position on gun control, giving $18,000 in NRA donations to charity and announcing he favors an assault weapons ban.

Walz’s change of heart continues to draw criticism from his two main opponents, state Rep. Erin Murphy and State Auditor Rebecca Otto.

“There have been issues for a long time surrounding mass shootings. His close affiliation with the NRA is troubling to many,” Otto said on WCCO Sunday Morning. “I’m glad he has changed his position. He says the times have changed but what has changed is he is running for governor.”

If Walz does not get the endorsement he says he will take his case to the people and run in the August primary.

Both Murphy and Otto say if they don’t get the endorsement in Rochester, they will drop out of the race.

GOP delegates will meet that same first weekend in June to endorse their candidate for governor.

Leading Candidates include Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Watch Esme Murphy and Mike Augustyniak on WCCO Sunday Morning every Sunday at 6 a.m. and at 10:30 a.m.

Esme Murphy

  1. Shawn Olson says:

    A couple points:
    1. Tim Walz did NOT win February caucuses. He received 30% of the votes in a non-binding straw poll, but he had to spend a record smashing $660,000 to get those results, and the progressive votes were split between 5 other candidates. Otto received 20% of those straw poll votes despite spending on a quarter of the money the big money Walz Machine did.

    2. Otto and Murphy have said they will ABIDE by the endorsement, they have not said they will not run in the primary if there is no endorsement. The strategy of the Walz machine is to keep everyone divided and stop one of the progressive women from receiving that endorsement, as Walz refuses to abide by our endorsement if he doesn’t get it. That’s pretty insulting, and is turning many off to him as much as his convenient policy changes about the time he decided to run for Governor.