Though the DFL endorsing convention for the special election caused by Rep. Steve Gottwalt’s resignation isn’t until Jan. 26, the matchup is essentially set. That’s because Joanne Dorsher is the DFL’s only declared candidate for the Gottwalt special election.
After winning Saturday’s GOP endorsing convention, St. Cloud businesswoman Tama Theis will meet Ms. Dorsher in the Feb. 12 special election to represent HD-14A.
After a drama-filled convention, the GOP can now get into the serious business of getting Theis’s message out, then getting their voters out.
This was a drama-filled convention for several reason. First, Saturday’s GOP endorsing convention wasn’t settled until the seventh ballot. Second, this was a hotly contested endorsement, with Theis, former St. Cloud city councilman John Severson and Iraq War veteran Scott MacHardy each acquitting themselves well.
John Severson led the first and second ballots with 13 votes each time, with MacHardy getting 12 votes and Theis getting 11 votes the first ballot. On the second ballot, Theis got 12 votes and MacHardy 11.
Theis got the most votes on the third ballot with 14, followed by 12 votes each for Severson and MacHardy. Theis got the most votes in each of the following ballots until she won on the seventh ballot.
Ms. Theis will need to hit the ground runnning, starting Monday, because the DFL would love to steal this special election. They know that anything can happen in a special election.
Ms. Dorsher is a known commodity in St. Cloud, having been a member of the St. Cloud School Board and after runnning against Rep. Gottwalt in 2008. One that’s certain is that EdMinn’s foot soldiers will be out in force for Ms. Dorsher.
The biggest question is whether the business community does a better job of getting out their vote than EdMinn does in getting out the pro-government voters.