Four DFLers, so far, won’t abide by party nomination process

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Five Democrats running for governor have agreed to abide by the party’s nominating process, reports Eric Black at MinnPost, but several others — including some well-funded presumptive front-runners — won’t make such a promise.

State Sen. Tom Bakk, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and state Rep. Paul Thissen have made “firm drop-dead commitments” to stick to the DFL’s nominating process. That is, if any of them doesn’t get the official nod from the party, they won’t run.

Four others — former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, former House DFL Leader Matt Entenza, former state Sen. Steve Kelley and state Sen. John Marty — won’t make any such pledge, although Black points out that Dayton “isn’t seriously seeking the DFL endorsement.” (He couldn’t get through to Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.)

Since Entenza has said he’d abide by the party’s process only if all “serious” candidates do as well, Black surmises that, since Dayton likely won’t abide, Entenza won’t either.

Will it matter? Black concludes:

Lastly, it should be noted that the value of the DFL endorsee isn’t what it used to be. For decades, anyone who defied the endorsement process and risked party unity by mounting a primary challenge would be shunned. But that is no longer true. The last two gubernatorial endorsees did win nomination without serious primary challenges, but before that, primary battles were more common than uncommon and several challengers won the nomination. This year will be another test of the value of the endorsement.

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