Thursday, April 3, 2008

Davis gets nod for 1st Congressional District run

St. James Plaindealer
April 2, 2008

By Mike Ricci, Editor

It did not take long for 1st Congressional District delegates to endorse a candidate to run against incumbent Rep. Tim Walz.

On the first ballot at the District 1 GOP endorsing convention Saturday, March 29, in Albert Lea, delegates voted 160 to 100 in favor of Brian Davis over Randy Demmer (R-Hayfield).

The fact that the needed 60 percent of the vote was acquired on the first ballot came as a surprise to Klarice Rinne, Watonwan County Republican Party chair.

Rinne said that many in the party thought the balloting could go a dozen or more times before either candidate received the 60 percent required for the GOP endorsement.

The quick endorsement also surprised Davis, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

“Yes it was somewhat of a surprise that it went that quickly,” he said. “Although, we expected to have a small lead.”

Before Davis can go on and battle incumbent Tim Walz, a Mankato Democrat, he first must overcome one more obstacle - a battle in the primary against state Sen. Dick Day (R-Owatonna).

In February, Day said he would skip the Republican endorsing convention and in the process create a primary battle against the Republican endorsed candidate.

Day's view is in contrast with Davis and Demmer's as they both agreed to abide by the endorsement. Davis said he has faith in Demmer that he will follow through on his word.

On the issues, Davis said he and Demmer differ only on a couple. He added, however, that the endorsing convention focused more on the electability of both men.

“A number of delegates stated that I am the electable and conservative candidate,” Davis said referring to why he was endorsed by the delegates.

Should Davis defeat Day in the Sept. 9 primary, it will then be a concentrated effort on November's general election.

Davis said Walz' voting record does not reflect the views of those in the 1st District.

“Tim Walz votes with liberal Democrats and Speaker Pelosi 95 percent of the time,” he said. “Those aren't southern Minnesota values.”

Regardless of who will win the primary and contend for his seat, Walz said neither man offers anything of substance.

“Republicans Brian Davis and Dick Day offer nothing more than the same failed politics that have led America into recession, debt and insecurity,” a state DFL Party press release said.

Following Davis' win against Demmer, Ron Carey, state Republican Party chairman issued a statement.

"Brian Davis is a great choice for the people of southern Minnesota and I look forward to working with him to retire Tim Walz from Congress. On issue after issue, Dr. Davis represents a sharp contrast to a far-left liberal like Walz,” it said in part.