Kelley says he leads in delegate count, calls for DFL to unite


State Sen. Steve Kelley called for the DFL to unite behind his candidacy at a State Capitol press conference Wednesday. The party, he said, should “unite in June, not wait until November to be united.”

The competition between the DFL candidates for governor has changed after businessman Kelly Doran dropped out last Friday. “With Doran not in the race, it is true for the three of us to say we all have a fair opportunity,” Kelley said.

The Kelley campaign released an estimate of delegates elected to the DFL Party’s state convention who are committed to supporting each gubernatorial candidate. According to Kelley, of the 626 already selected delegates, the support is divided 130.5 for Kelley; 127 for Mike Hatch, and 71.5 for Becky Lourey.

The Hatch and Lourey campaigns have since released their own delegate counts, each showing their candidate in the lead.

“I am in a position to win,” said Kelley. “We have also demonstrated that I have strength outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.” He added that he was not worried about his ability to raise money.

When asked about the possibility of inviting state Sen. Sheila Kiscaden, Doran’s former running mate, as his lieutenant governor, he said he would definitely consider it, but that they had not talked about it yet.

Kelley said Governor Tim Pawlenty remains a formidable incumbent. He estimated that Pawlenty still can win “about 44 percent of the votes,” in a November general election.