After more than 12 hours and 23 rounds of balloting, Republican activists in the 1st Congressional District adjourned their endorsing convention in stalemate, with GOPers deeply divided over whether state Sen. Mike Parry or former Rep. Allen Quist should carry the party’s banner in the fall election.
Neither candidate managed to pass the 60 percent vote threshold needed to automatically win the endorsement in the all-day contest, nor were they willing to concede the close race, which never strayed from more than a 25-vote margin between the two candidates. Both candidates want the chance to take on three-term DFL Rep. Tim Walz.
Delegates, who gathered in the Kato Ballroom in Mankato on Saturday, ultimately voted after 2 a.m. to adjourn without endorsement, according to the Rochester Post Bulletin. They plan to pick up the endorsement fight again in two to three weeks.
The balloting was a roller coaster for activists, with Parry taking the lead on the first several ballots, then Quist pulling ahead for a short time, then back to Parry for several rounds, and finally ending with Quist ahead of Parry 137 to 124. Multiple motions were made to adjourn without an endorsement, and each one failed as the candidates debated and worked the convention floor, hoping to sway delegates their way in the 11th hour.
Republican activists in the district say race has been close from the start.