District 12B Democrats came up empty for the second week in a row in their efforts to endorse a candidate for the seat currently held by Rep. Greg Blaine, R-Little Falls.
While District 12A DFLers endorsed former state lawmaker Don Samuelson of Brainerd Saturday for the 12A House seat, the District 12B Democrats cast 10 ballots and failed to settle on a candidate. The convention was conducted in Little Falls.
None of the three 12B candidates reached the 60 percent margin needed for endorsement. Running for the seat were Debra Copa Nagel, who ran against Blaine in 2002; Bob Keeton, a former Little Falls School Board member, and Marv Begin, of Fort Ripley Township. Begin failed to garner the necessary 10 votes to continue as a candidate for endorsement after the first ballot.
All three candidates intend to file for the September primary.
Keeton said he thought he fared well in the endorsement battle and is optimistic about his chances in a primary. Nagel said the party had good candidates and she will run in the primary. Begin said he intends to run in the primary but will need some help.
"If I can get some backing ... Financially, I can't just go ahead and pay for everything on my own," he said.
Samuelson, who previously served as District 12A representative and District 12 senator in a legislative career dating back to 1968, said he was heartened by the good turnout on the first day of the fishing season.
The earlier endorsing convention was concluded when some people felt proper notification was not distributed for the meeting.
MIKE O'ROURKE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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