Klobuchar gets Minn. Dems' backing in Rochesterby Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar now officially has the DFL endorsement for her re-election campaign.
Klobuchar wraps up her first six-year term in the Senate this year. At the state Democratic convention on Saturday in Rochester, she ran unopposed for the endorsement, which convention delegates sounded delighted to give her by acclamation.
At the podium Klobuchar promoted herself as someone who has worked across party lines to get a lot done in Washington, and she pledged to continue her efforts on behalf of every Minnesotan regardless of their political persuasion.
"Even in a time when many in Washington have lost their way," she said, "I wake up every day inspired by the spirit of Minnesota and can tell you this: Rest assured, even in the wilderness that is Washington, I know that the best way to lead is to follow the North Star."
Klobuchar faces Republican challenger Kurt Bills in the November election. After the endorsement Bills issued a statement blasting Klobuchar on deficit spending.
Earlier Saturday, delegates welcomed Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton with a standing ovation as he took the podium.
Two years ago DFL Party leaders banned Dayton from their convention because he was running in a primary election against the party's endorsed candidate for governor.
Dayton won the primary and the general election. Speaking to the convention, Dayton called for the re-election of President Barack Obama and DFL members of the Minnesota congressional delegation. He also said Democrats need to take control of the Legislature from the GOP this fall.
"This difference between the Republican and DFL parties is that we DFLers do care about all of the people of Minnesota," Dayton said. "We think tax relief should go to the folks who most need it, not to the ones who can write the biggest campaign checks."
Dayton also criticized GOP push for constitutional amendments that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota and require voters to present government identification at polling places.
Both amendments will be on the ballot this fall in Minnesota.
DFL U.S. Rep. Tim Walz of the First District spoke against the proposal to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage.
"The idea that government, an elected official would have the audacity to intervene with the ability of a fellow citizen to choose their best friend and their soul mate to spend time with," Walz said, "and to preclude them from being at their bedside when they're sick is not only anti-Minnesotan, it's immoral and we will reject it come November."
Walz characterized a proposed requirement for voters to show an ID at the polls as an effort to disenfranchise voters.