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DFLers Endorse Gov. Dayton, Sen. Franken for Re-Election

Updated: 05/31/2014 10:50 PM
Created: 05/31/2014 12:05 PM WDIO.com

Minnesota Democrats have endorsed Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken for re-election to second terms.

Delegates to the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party's state convention in Duluth gave Dayton a strong voice vote of confidence on Saturday.

In his acceptance speech, Dayton contrasted the political stalemates of his first two years - when Republicans controlled the Legislature - with the laws passed under the last two years under DFL majorities.

It was a different story for Dayton four years ago, when the former U.S. senator skipped the endorsement process and went straight to the primary, which got him barred from the convention floor.

Dayton will face the winner of the GOP primary. Minnesota Republicans are choosing from a crowded field as they consider their endorsement at the GOP state convention in Rochester on Saturday.

Democrats have also endorsed Rebecca Otto for a third term as state auditor.

Otto told delegates Saturday she works every day to make sure Minnesotans can trust their government, because when people trust their government they support it.

She won a voice vote with only a few dissenting voices. Otto has taken some criticism because of her skepticism over proposals for copper-nickel mining in northeastern Minnesota, though the issue wasn't mentioned during the discussion She has said her main concern is that the cleanup costs could get dumped on taxpayers.

Otto was first elected in 2006 after serving as a state representative from the Stillwater area.

The Minnesota GOP state convention on Friday endorsed former Long Lake Mayor Randy Gilbert, who's making his second bid to be state auditor. Minnesota Democrats are also expected to easily endorse Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken for re-election to second terms.

The only competitive endorsement will be for secretary of state. State Reps. Steve Simon of St. Louis Park and Debra Hilstrom of Brooklyn Center are both seeking the party's backing to replace Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who's not running for re-election.

The DFL Party has ample turf to defend in November's elections, and turning out Democratic voters in this off-year is seen as the key challenge. The DFL holds every statewide office and controls the Legislature, with all state House seats up for grabs in November. Franken and Dayton both won their offices by narrow margins, and only after recounts.

(Copyright 2014 WDIO-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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