Republican Mike Parry's campaign for Congress announced today that former Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau is backing Parry. The announcement comes less than three weeks before a GOP primary between Parry, a state Senator from Waseca, and former state Rep. Allen Quist.
Molnau served as lt. governor from 2003-2011 under then Gov. Tim Pawlenty.. In a statement she said Parry is the most qualified candidate in the race.
"Mike is a strong leader who has fought for our conservative principles at the state Capitol," Molnau said. "I know Mike is the right candidate to retire Congressman Tim Walz and return southern Minnesota common-sense to Washington."
Molnau is a former state representative who represented Chaska. She now lives in Nicollet County, which is in the heart of the 1st Congressional District.
Her time as lt. governor was not without controversy. The Minnesota Senate rejected her confirmation as Transportation Commissioner (she served two roles in the Pawlenty Administration) because of the way she handled the I-35W bridge collapse, and because Democrats believed she wasn't doing a good enough job improving the state's roads and bridges. She was also criticized for being absent during key moments of the planning for new the I-35W bridge.
Parry's statement focused on Molnau's leadership as lt. governor and as a state lawmaker.
"For years, Carol and her family have been leaders in the agriculture community, and Carol's endorsement demonstrates our campaign's growing momentum," Parry said in a statement."
Parry and Quist are in a primary battle that has each candidate questioning the conservative credentials of the other. The winner will face DFL Rep. Tim Walz in November.