Drazkowski and Jacob win GOP endorsements for Senate and House seats – Reuters

MAZEPPA — Two GOP candidates have won their party’s endorsement, and a race will head into the August primary in Senate District 20 and its associated Minnesota House districts.

At an endorsement convention for Senate District 20 and House Districts 20A and 20B on Saturday, State Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, won 70% of delegate votes in the first round of ballot to secure the Republican Party’s endorsement for the 20th Senate District. , which covers eastern Olmsted and northwest Winona counties south to Wabasha and Goodhue counties with a single township in Dakota County added.

State Rep. Barb Haley, R-Red Wing, got 30 percent of the vote.

During a debate between the two candidates, Haley, who currently serves as House Minority Whip in the state legislature, said March 9 that she would not commit to the approval process. She repeated it again on Monday.

“I’m going to take some time to think about it and talk to my supporters,” Haley said, calling herself a pragmatic Republican. “I have a lot of great supporters and people appreciate my leadership here.”

With the filing period for state races set for May 17-31, 2022, with an opt-out deadline of June 2, Haley could technically reapply for her House seat, but she called that option a unlikely.

“There are a few good candidates for the seat,” she said. “I don’t see people doing this to people who have made all this effort.”

For his part, Drazkowski said he would start focusing on delivering his own message to general election voters.

“At this point, we’re running against whoever the Democrat is,” he said. “I hope Rep. Haley respects the wishes of the more than 400 delegates and alternates.”

Drazkowski and Haley were running to fill the seat vacated by State Sen. Mike Goggin, who announced his retirement after being first elected to the Senate in 2016.

Steve Jacob

Post Bulletin File Photo

With Drazkowski running for the Senate, his seat — the newly redistricted House 20B — sees Winona County Commissioner Steve Jacob gain GOP approval. Jacob, who ran unopposed in the Republican Party, was approved unanimously.

For House District 20A — which was Haley’s seat — no candidate was able to win the 60% needed to win party approval. Red Wing’s Pam Altendorf saw her delegate vote total drop to 40.8% at the convention, while Cannon Falls’ Jesse Johnson saw her rise to 59.2% before ending at a total of 55%. to 45% after six ballots.

With the vote apparently deadlocked, the race will be decided by voters in the statewide primary on Aug. 9.

Although there is no official nomination yet, according to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, Drazkowski will face former Zumbrota Mayor Brad Drenckhahn on the DFL side. No DFL candidate has registered for the seats in Home District 20A or 20B since the redistricting, according to the BFC.

As endorsements were the big news of the weekend, on March 28, 2022, a Wabasha County Republican Party group came together to vote against Bev Snow as the county’s party chair. Snow had held the position for many years, but the group cited violations of the county’s GOP constitution to have her officially removed, which was confirmed in an email from Minnesota Republican Party Executive Director Mike Lonergan. .

Travis Dunn, who will – at least temporarily – take over the leadership of the party in the county, said his goal was to focus on advancing voter engagement and working to be transparent in the party’s dealings in the county. within the county.

“It’s about fairness and positivity going forward,” Dunn said.

Drazkowski added that while Snow served the party for many years, she also began to show favoritism to one Republican candidate over another, which, while not against the rules, was certainly wrong. seen.

“She was doing that with the governor’s race,” he said. “She’s a big (Senator Paul) Gazelka supporter, and she’s been doing fundraisers for him at her house. You don’t do that.”

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