Even though five percent of the vote has still not reported, MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton declared that state Rep. Marty Seifert of Marshall won the GOP gubernatorial straw poll of nearly 20 thousand activists. It appears that Seifert received support from roughly half of those who voted. State Rep. Tom Emmer of Delano finished second with about forty percent of the vote. State Sen. David Hann of Eden Prairie was a distant third.
Seifert told reporters earlier tonight that he was cautiously optimistic and said his campaign would start focusing on organizing for district conventions.
"The next thing is to find out who the delegates that were elected and get on the phone with them and start organizing county by county," Seifert said.
Meanwhile, Emmer said he didn't think he'd win last night's straw poll. He says, however, that his campaign has the momentum.
"We don't want to peak on February 2nd," Emmer said. "We want to have our support continue to grow. We want to be peaking on May 1st."
Here's the release from the MNGOP:
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton tonight announced that Rep. Marty Seifert was the winner of the 2010 gubernatorial straw poll at the Republican Party of Minnesota precinct caucuses which drew nearly 20,000 Minnesotans.
"Congratulations to Marty Seifert on his victory. I want to thank all of our great grassroots activists for making their voices heard at their neighborhood precinct caucuses. Tonight is the just beginning of what promises to be a great year for Minnesota Republicans who have had enough of the big spending, big taxes, and big deficits offered by Democrats," said Republican Party chairman Tony Sutton.
"Our Party is stronger at the grassroots because of our hard working and dedicated activists. Tonight's excitement shows that Minnesota Republicans are energized for a historic year," Republican Party of Minnesota Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb said.
You can get the latest GOP straw poll results here.
You can get the DFL straw poll results here.
Hats off to Marty! This man is a true defender of outstate MN and can/will bring fiscal sense to St. Paul!!!!!!