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Does Anderson’s three-ballot effort for auditor portend long governor nomination battle?

Sometime after 1 a.m. today and after three ballots, Pat Anderson, the once (and, Republicans hope, future) state auditor won endorsement in a tight race against former Long Lake Mayor Randy Gilbert.

Anderson was elected auditor in 2002 and knocked out of the job in 2006 by DFLer Rebecca Otto.

Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton said this morning that the tightness of the Anderson-Gilbert race might foreshadow a long battle between Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert, who are vying for gubernatorial endorsement.

“Conventional wisdom had Pat Anderson winning on the first ballot,’’ Sutton said. “But even though she was ahead [after the first ballot], they [the delegates] stuck with their favorite candidates.’’

Gilbert had fired up the crowd with his late-night speech, which ended with a Johnny Cash tune.

Does that mean Cash is the key to exciting delegates?

“Johnny Cash is always good,’’ said Sutton.

Anderson, by the way, marched to the podium last night to the theme from “Pirates of the Caribbean,’’ which seems an usual musical selection for a person who would be auditor. 

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