And then there were two

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Edina Mayor Jim Hovland suspended his campaign for the Democratic endorsement in the 3rd Congressional District last week.

Hovland, a recent convert to the DFL, had been trailing behind attorney Ashwin Madia and State Sen. Terri Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka, in the race for the endorsement. The winner will face off against State Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Eden Prairie, for the seat vacated by longtime Rep. Jim Ramstad, R-Minn.

Madia widens lead for 3rd District endorsement

by Jeff Fecke, Minnesota Monitor
Attorney Ashwin Madia picked up 32 of 49 delegates up for grabs Saturday, to widen his lead over State Sen. Terri Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka, in the race for the DFL’s Congressional endorsement in Minnesota’s 3rd District.

Madia now holds 82.5 of the 124.5 named delegates to the DFL’s 3rd District convention. Bonoff trails with 63. The remaining delegates are split between uncommitted voters and supporters of Edina Mayor Jim Hovland, who suspended his campaign this week.

“I am humbled and honored by the great trust people across the district have placed in me, but I know ultimately this growing movement for change isn’t about a political candidate,” said Madia in a statement. “It’s about the people who believe America can do better and are willing to work hard to help our nation live up to its ideals again.”

Ken Sanguin, campaign manager for Bonoff, said the race was “far from over,” noting that Madia will have to get the vote of 60 percent of delegates at the district convention.

“This election is too important and we are confident that when the dust settles, and the delegates have a chance to spend more time talking to both candidates, Terri will be their choice,” said Sanguin in a statement.

Madia won the majority of delegates in all but one of today’s six senate district conventions, splitting Senate District 45 evenly with Bonoff, one delegate apiece.

Madia and Bonoff are competing to run against State Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Eden Prairie, for the Congressional seat that will be vacated by the retiring Rep. Jim Ramstad, R-Minn.

In a statement announcing the campaign’s suspension, Hovland said, “I continue to stand by my pledge to support the candidate endorsed by the Third District Convention in April. However, in the event that no endorsement takes place at that convention, I plan to reevaluate my options at that time.”

In a statement sent to Minnesota Monitor, Madia praised Hovland, saying, “He’s a good friend and a strong voice for our progressive values. While his substantive contribution to our debates will be missed, I know Jim will continue his great efforts throughout our district and I look forward to working with him.”

Bonoff also issued a statement, saying, “Jim is an excellent public servant and a great asset to the people of Edina. Over the last few months I have gotten to know Jim well and I have nothing but respect for the way he conducted his campaign. Mayor Hovland is honest, upfront, well-versed in the issues, and I am proud to call him my friend.”

The departure of Hovland will leave the DFL race between Bonoff, a two-term state senator who serves as vice chair of the E-12 Education Subdivision, and Madia, a Gulf War veteran and attorney. Madia currently holds a lead in pledged delegates to the district convention.

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