MANKATO — Republicans from the 1st Congressional District, who are believed to have set a Minnesota record for longest GOP congressional endorsing convention April 21-22, are going to extend the mark Saturday in Mankato.
The 14-hour, 23-ballot epic endorsement marathon between Allen Quist and Mike Parry — which began at noon April 21 and ended in a stalemate just before 2 a.m. April 22 — will, sort of, become a 24-ballot, 118-day endorsement process around 7 p.m.
That’s when, in a largely ceremonial move, Quist will be endorsed as the Republican Party’s preferred candidate in the 1st District race against Democratic Congressman Tim Walz.
In the April convention at the Kato Ballroom, delegates spent 14 hours and conducted 23 rounds of balloting in a fruitless attempt to decide between Quist and Parry, R-Waseca.
It takes 60 percent support of delegates to endorse, and neither Quist nor Parry could top 55 percent even as the convention stretched into the wee hours of the morning.
With the Kato required by city ordinance to close at 2 a.m., delegates voted to hold a second convention in coming weeks to attempt to finish the job. That proved unfeasible, and the issue went to the Aug. 14 primary election — which Quist won with 54 percent of the vote following a sometimes bruising battle between the two Republicans.
Following his loss Tuesday night, Parry wholeheartedly endorsed Quist over Walz. The delegates meeting in Mankato Saturday — this time at the Mankato Place Event Center, 12 Civic Center Plaza — are expected to overwhelmingly do the same.
The event begins with a 5:30 p.m. fundraiser featuring Tom Emmer — a radio talk show host, former state lawmaker and 2010 Republican nominee for governor. The convention will officially be called to order at 7 p.m.