Forget endorsing conventions. Republicans Allen Quist and Mike Parry are headed to a primary Aug. 14, where voters will decide who faces U.S. Rep. Tim Walz for the 1st District congressional seat.
Quist said this week he will file for the primary when the period opens May 22. He originally committed to waiting for a second endorsing convention — set to be rescheduled after delegates couldn’t decide between the two last month — then changed his mind.
“I can’t spend the months campaigning for a convention that may not take place,” Quist said.
Parry quickly followed suit in announcing his plans to file for the primary.
“From our perspective, if he’s in for the primary, we need to be in for the primary,” said Parry’s campaign manager, Ben Golnik. “We can’t put resources, time and energy into an endorsing convention if he’s not going to go for it.”
Golnik said it’s quite rare for an endorsing convention to be gridlocked. A GOP committee still has the option to call another convention, though both Quist and Golnik said that’s highly unlikely because of scheduling problems.
The gridlock has led to increasing tension between the two candidates.
Quist said he’s disappointed that Parry’s campaign has leveled negative statements about him recently, including criticizing him for choosing to file for a primary election.
“He and his campaign went negative four weeks ago, and that totally changed the atmosphere of the race, because in politics you have to fight fire with fire,” Quist said.
Golnik said Parry’s campaign is “absolutely not” negative.
“Certainly, I don’t think anything is deemed negative; it’s all fact based,” Golnik said.
Regardless, the two remain united in a common effort.
“The goal is to replace Congressman Tim Walz, who we believe is out of step with the majority of voters,” Golnik said.
Parry is a two-term state senator. Quist is a former state representative and gubernatorial candidate. Walz, a Democrat from Mankato, is a three-term congressman who defeated Gil Gutknecht in 2006.