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Dan Severson wins secretary of state endorsement at Minnesota Republican convention

MinnPost photo by Brian Halliday
Rep. Dan “Doc” Severson accepted the GOP nomination for secretary of state on Friday.

Former state Rep. Dan “Doc” Severson won the support of Republican activists over former Sen. John Howe to carry the party’s banner in the Secretary of State race this fall.

Howe withdrew his name from consideration after one ballot at the party’s endorsing convention in Rochester on Friday. Current DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is retiring, leaving the office wide open this election cycle.

Severson ran against Ritchie in 2010, losing by about 4 points. He also unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2012. Severson served parts of Benton and Stearns County for four terms in the state House.

Severson touted a specific plan for his first 100 days if he’s elected secretary of state that includes a voluntary photo identification program and a legislative audit of the state’s voting system.

“It’s time for a conservative secretary of state,” Severson told the crowd. “Without clean elections, we cannot keep our republic.”

Howe served one term in the Senate representing Red Wing before losing in the 2012 election. While he lost the endorsement, Howe encouraged Republicans to not make their message in the 2014 secretary of state race about voter ID.  

“If we talk about voter ID we are going to give this election to the Democrats,” Howe said, encouraging the Republican candidate to focus on the business filling part of the secretary of state’s job.

DFL activists will also pick their candidate in Duluth on Saturday for the secretary of state’s race. State Reps. Steve Simon and Deb Hilstrom are seeking the party’s backing.

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Max Hailperin on 05/30/2014 - 03:19 pm.

    Voluntary Voter ID

    Severson’s voluntary voter ID proposal is not entirely clear; here’s my analysis of what he sent out:

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/30/2014 - 04:32 pm.

      A Nothingburger with Fries

      It sounds like complicated, untested, and potentially expensive technology that will let a few people in a few communities shave some time off their voting. What’s the point?

  2. Submitted by Pat Brady on 05/31/2014 - 08:05 am.

    Listen to the guy who lost the nomination

    “If we talk about voter ID we are going to give this election to the Democrats,” Howe said…”

    Seems the Republicans do not listen to common sense these days.
    Express voter booth lanes? Give me a break.
    Get some more poll volunteers for checking registration of voters signing their books. Add some more portable tables to vote at and be done with it.
    The best express lane for voters is absentee ballot.
    Having voted in person in each and every election the most I have ever waited is 15 mintues if you go early in the morning or late in the evening.

    “It’s time for a conservative secretary of state,” Severson told the crowd. “Without clean elections, we cannot keep our republic.”
    What he is really running on is the “conservative” belief tha we have dirty elections and all fear for the “Republic”. In the end, the convention went with the fear factor and the old defeated issue of Voter ID.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 06/02/2014 - 06:40 am.

      It’s simple, Pat…

      these people are baffled that so many find their message abhorrent. If they lose ANY election it MUST be because of voter fraud. Welcome to the GOP bubble.

  3. Submitted by Robert Helland on 06/02/2014 - 05:48 pm.

    What about Bob?

    As usual, I am pleased to read the thoughtful comments of Minnpost readers. However, it’s disturbing to see Minnpost follow the for-profit protocol of other two-party-centric news outlets that disregard third-party candidates, let alone an “endorsed major party candidate” like myself.

    Hi, I’m Bob Helland and I am running for secretary of state, too. If I have any chance to get my winning message out, I need fair media coverage. Note: You also misspelled our attorney general candidate’s name wrong: It’s Brandan Borgos, not Borgas, in a story about a Green Party candidate. (Fun fact: Brandan and I both signed that candidate’s petition to file because we believe that Minnesota deserves options.)

    Readers, do you believe in options?
    Minnpost, do you believe in options?

    It’s not showing. Now, excuse me, I’ll now address the deficiency on your DFL side (party of the present) because Mr. Severson and a flawed, failed photo ID GOP policy (party of the past) are not a prudent use of my time fighting for the IP (party of the future). Those policies are DOA in Minnesota.

    ~ Bob Helland, IP endorsed candidate for secretary of state.
    Filed with Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board
    Filed with Office of Secretary of State

    @sosbobmn on Twitter

  4. Submitted by David Brauer on 06/02/2014 - 06:08 pm.

    Was the IP convention last weekend?

    Hi Bob – we gave the major parties ink because their party conventions were this past weekend. The IP’s wasn’t. 

    We did mention your nomination after your convention occurred here:

    IP conventions are still pretty cozy affairs next to the major parties, which draw thousands, and explains some of the coverage emphasis. Nevertheless, it’s a good reminder to pay attention to you going forward.

    David Brauer
    News editor

    • Submitted by Robert Helland on 06/02/2014 - 07:17 pm.

      Thanks, Mr. Brauer

      I certainly understand the timing and my experience with Minnpost has always been very positive, so I hope to keep it so as my candidacy grows and strengthens. I reiterate: the thoughtful community of commenters is an oasis in a desert of political thought or any news for that matter. I learn as much from your readers as I do the stories, which is why Minnpost is my source for local news.

      That said, we as independent-spirited, third-party candidates must be ever-vigilant in our capacity as media watchdogs to ensure fair and comprehensive coverage of the options we offer Minnesota.

      You have my contact info if you wish to learn more about me or the full slate of IP candidates that are bringing new vision to Minnesota politics.

      ~ Bob

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