DFL Party loyalists in Senate District 50 voted tonight to pull the endorsement for DFL Sen. Satveer Chaudhary. Minutes later, they backed former State Representative Barb Goodwin for the seat. Goodwin says she'd like to see Chaudhary end his campaign but Chaudhary is committed to running in the primary.
He said he's been door knocking, is prepared to send out 5,000 pieces of campaign literature and has been actively campaigning at parades in the district.
The decision to pull Chaudhary's party endorsement has been brewing since the end of the legislative session. In the waning hours of the session, Chaudhary made a last minute push to include a special walleye rule for a lake where he owns a cabin. The bill was vetoed by Governor Pawlenty in part because of Chaudhary's action. Chaudhary repeatedly apologized for what he called a "honest mistake." But DFL Party loyalists were in no mood to forgive.
The decision to yank the DFL party endorsement after it's been awarded is unprecedented in the modern era of DFL politics. The only other time party leaders can remember it happening is in a 1952 Secretary of State's race.
Posted at 7:15 AM on June 29, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
DFL Party leaders in Senate District 50 have stripped the party endorsement from DFL Sen. Satveer Chaudhary. They then awarded party backing to former DFL Rep. Barb Goodwin. Chaudhary vows to fight on in the DFL Primary. MPR, the Pi Press, the Star Tribune and PIM have stories.
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The Senate DFL Caucus has no plans to get in the middle of a primary fight between DFL Sen. Satveer Chaudhary and former DFL Rep. Barb Goodwin. Party loyalists voted last night to strip Chaudhary's party endorsement and later awarded it to Goodwin. Gary Hill, spokesman for the Senate Majority Leader's office says there are no plans to back one of the candidates before the August 10th primary.
"I was told that we aren't involved and we won't be involved but it's out intention to hold that seat," Hill said.
The Senate DFL Caucus is tasked with protecting incumbents and picking up seats. Hill's comments contradict what Chaudhary told reporters on Monday night. He said the Senate DFL Caucus "strongly supported" him and "stated that they are going to continue to do so..."
Chaudhary received heavy criticism at the end of the legislative session for pushing for a special fishing regulation on a lake where he owns a cabin. His amendment was included in a bill in the waning hours of the session. Gov. Pawlenty vetoed in the bill in part because of Chaudhary's action.
Last night's action put Senate Democrats in a unique position. Chaudhary is a member of the caucus but getting involved in the race would mean Senate Democrats would be forced to back him over the wishes of local DFL Party loyalists.
Update: Hill sent along this clarification:
The Senate DFL Caucus has not taken a position one way or another on supporting Sen. Chaudhary after the party decided to remove the endorsement. Prior to that a number of races had been selected as targeted races and Senator Chaudhary's race was not one of those selected.Gina Bauman is the Republican endorsed candidate running in the district.