Maybe it’s Presidents Day patriotism, or more likely, it’s the importance of Goodhue County for Republican candidates.
Almost all GOP candidates for governor and U.S. Senate — plus Congressman John Kline and his primary challenger, David Gerson, and the state’s Republican national committeewoman, Janet Beihoffer — say they will attend a Monday night forum at Cannon Falls High School.
“Apparently we have some pretty motivated candidates this year,” said Merle Larson, acting chair for the Goodhue County GOP.
Two candidates, though, will not attend — gubernatorial candidate Scott Honour and U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden.
The Honour campaign said the candidate has a scheduling conflict for the evening.
Tom Erickson, McFadden’s communications director, said the campaign will send a surrogate and referred to the event as a fundraiser, not a forum.
“We will be asking for free-will donations. There will not be a charge to attend,” according to Jeff Hommedahl, treasurer for the party unit.
According to the volunteers who are organizing the event, it is definitely a forum, with each candidate allowed to make a seven- or eight-minute presentation, followed by questions from the audience.
“It is a limited time for them to present their arguments to the assembled,” Larson said. “Any one can attend — the more, the better,” he added, referring to both the public and the candidates.