By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In a week, Minnesotans will know who Republicans and Democratic have endorsed as their candidates for governor.

The GOP convention is slated for Duluth and the DFL convention will be in Rochester. Both start Friday.

The person who wins at the endorsing convention is generally the candidate who is on the ballot in November.

But when it comes to the Minnesota governor’s race this year, anything goes.

On the DFL side, State Rep. Erin Murphy, State Auditor Rebecca Otto and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz will all be fighting for the endorsement next weekend.

On the Republican side, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens and former naval intelligence officer Phillip Parrish will be at next week’s convention.

But former Gov. Tim Pawlenty will not.

He is going to be taking his case directly to voters in the August primary. And that pretty much guarantees Republican party infighting much of the summer.

“Tim Pawlenty is almost universally known in this state he still has support from the Republican Party,” said political science professor Larry Jacobs on WCCO Sunday Morning. “My hunch is he still is going to have work harder for it than he is expecting.”

But Democrats face a possible similar scenario.

Walz says if he doesn’t win the endorsement he won’t drop out and will go forward to the August primary.

It’s possible both party conventions could end up deadlocked.

“It looks like Waltz has plateaued a bit, mid 40-percent is what I am hearing on the delegate count,” Jacobs said. “Can he get to that 60 percent level that is required? Big questions.”

If both party conventions end up without endorsing a candidate for governor, that will mean Minnesota’s normally sleepy August primary will be very busy and hotly contested.


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