DULUTH — Mark Dayton couldn’t get into the DFL convention today, so he stood in the lobby at the Duluth convention center shaking hands and saying hello to delegates as they walked in and out.
DFL officials refused to grant Dayton a floor pass because he’s bypassing the endorsement process and going straight to the August primary where he’ll run against whomever gets the nomination here Saturday.
Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner is in the same endorsement bypass boat and couldn’t get her own floor pass, either. She was in the lobby earlier in the afternoon, waiting for a reporter to come off the floor for an interview.
But later, the Matt Entenza campaign lent her a floor pass, so she spent an hour on the floor talking with delegates from Ramsey County. (Entenza will run in the primary, too, but is at least he’s having his name placed in nomination here, so he has floor privileges.)
Dayton said he’s been to the past 18 conventions and was allowed on the floor the two other times he bypassed the endorsement.
“I’d disappointed; it’s very petty,” he said. “I just came to see friends, so I’ll do it as they come out. I’m being respectful and not playing games.
“We’ll all come together eventually, on Aug. 11.” That’s the day after the primary.
Does he have a prediction for who will get the nomination Saturday?
“If I knew enough to make that call, I’d be on Wall Street, repairing my fortune,” he joked. “It’ll all come down to the end game, and whoever wins will have earned it and will be a good adversary for me in the primary.”
Both Dayton and Gaertner said they’re returning home to the Twin Cities tonight and won’t be around Saturday when the balloting occurs.