If the Republican Party is going to move ahead without the retiring Rep. Michele Bachmann, it’s most likely going to need a primary.
Candidate Phil Krinkie, a former president of the Minnesota Taxpayers League and one-time state representative, told Minnesota Public Radio he will not abide by the nomination handed down at the Sixth District Minnesota GOP Convention, to be held Saturday at the Monticello High School, should he not come out of the weekend as the endorsed candidate.
Krinkie instead will position himself to run for a primary, held later this year at a date yet to be determined.
The clear frontrunner to replace Bachmann as the GOP’s candidate in the Sixth District House campaign is former Delano representative and one-time gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who is just short of raising $1 million for his 2014 campaign. Emmer was the prohibitive favorite back in February at the GOP caucuses, and is a familiar face around Wright County after he represented the eastern part of the district for several years at the Minnesota State Capitol.
Krinkie, meanwhile, has put forth more than a quarter of a million dollars for his own campaign.
A third GOP candidate, Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah of Lino Lakes, is also seeking the nomination. Sivarajah hasn’t come close to matching the “war chest” of the two men in the race, but has not said if she’ll abide by the endorsement awarded this weekend or not. Sivarajah finished second to Emmer in the February caucuses, but was more than 50 points behind Emmer.
DFL members Jim Read of Avon and Sartell Mayor Joe Perske are seeking that party’s nod to run against the GOP nominee. Both pledge to abide by the DFL endorsement, meaning a Democratic primary battle is unlikely.
The GOP convention will actually kick off Friday night at Monticello High with a two-hour tribute to the outgoing Congresswoman Bachmann, who has represented the Sixth District since first running for the U.S. House in 2006.
The event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, and feature a “who’s who” of local Republicans.
The Sixth District Convention will begin a 9 a.m. Saturday. Participants must be registered to attend. Registration can be found on the CD6 GOP website and can be done Saturday morning at the MHS auditorium prior to the start of the convention.