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Questions for the candidates? A few will be answered

DULUTH — DFL candidates for governor will get one last chance to formally address the 1,470 delegates on the floor Saturday morning, with a question-and-answer period after their names are entered into nomination.

Problems is, there won’t be time for many questions. Like, maybe six or seven.

(Note: there are actually only 1,390 delegate votes at the convention, but because of odd geographic twists, some delegates have half-votes, so there are about 1,470 delegates running around, or sitting, on the convention floor.)

Delegates are allowed to submit one written question each, so, in theory, there could be hundreds. The questions will be screened for appropriateness — don’t want one of those Bob Fletcher/LWV fiascos of several years ago in St. Paul — then the questions will be put in a basket.

Then the co-chairs — Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt and her husband, J.P. Barone — will randomly pick questions from the basket. (The first question is already set: Will you abide by the endorsement? And at this point there should be only one no: Matt Entenza. Susan Gaertner and Mark Dayton are skipping the convention and going straight to the primary.)

But there are only 60 minutes allocated for the Q and A, and there likely will be eight candidates on the stage, and each will get up to one minute to answer. Doing the math, it doesn’t leave time for many questions.

At this point, though, the candidates have answered these questions a million times, and the delegates have heard the answers about half that often. And there’s no provision for follow-ups to keep anyone from weaseling out of a tough question, so it’s really just a friendly exercise in openness.

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