The list of speakers at this year’s Republican National Convention was released today: 62 names long, it features GOP heavyweights like Speaker Paul Ryan, rising stars like Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, and six people with the surname Trump.
Beyond that, it’s kind of a weird list: in between the rank-and-file members of Congress, there are also reality TV and soap opera stars, professional fighters, preachers, and one former NFL quarterback.
[Update: On Thursday, the former NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow, said it was a “rumor” that he would speak, and denied any intention to do so.]
But there’s one thing the list does not have: anyone from Minnesota.
For the first time since 2000, no Minnesota Republican will take the convention stage to address GOP delegates from around the country.
Why might that be? For one, conventions are typically a chance for defeated primary candidates to have a brief moment in the sun, and no Minnesota Republican ran for president this year. At the 2012 convention in Tampa, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty — who mounted a much-hyped but ultimately brief campaign — got a plum, prime-time speaking spot.
Senators are often tapped to speak at conventions, but no Republican represents Minnesota in the U.S. Senate. Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, who served from 2003-2009, spoke at the 2004 and 2008 conventions. The 2008 convention, held in St. Paul, was naturally a banner year for Minnesotans at the RNC: Pawlenty, Coleman, and former Rep. Michele Bachmann all spoke.
Though some members of the U.S. House of Representatives will speak this year in Cleveland, the pool of Minnesotans from which to choose was slim. Out of the state’s three Republican members of Congress, only 6th District Rep. Tom Emmer will be in Cleveland for the convention. Reps. Erik Paulsen and John Kline are skipping the gathering this year.
The Republican National Committee said that this list is subject to change, so it is possible, theoretically, that organizers could realize their glaring mistake and a Minnesotan could take the stage in Cleveland.