Monday, March 31, 2008

Republicans Endorse Candidate Brian Davis

Published - Monday, March 31, 2008
By Mark Sommerhauser Winona Daily News

The Minnesota Republican Party has picked its candidate to challenge Democratic Rep. Tim Walz in November.

But Republican voters may have the final say in a September primary that would pit a political outsider against a political veteran.

GOP delegates from Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District selected Brian Davis, a Mayo Clinic physician, at Saturday’s endorsing convention in Albert Lea.

On the first ballot, Davis received 160 delegate votes to 100 votes for Rep. Randy Demmer, R-Hayfield.

Davis said Sunday that he was pleased Republican delegates came to a quick consensus.
“I was honored and humbled and also a little surprised that this happened as quickly as it did,” Davis said.

But unlike most campaigns, the endorsement doesn’t necessarily determine who’ll be on the general election ballot with Walz.

Sen. Dick Day, R-Owatonna, announced in February that he would force a primary by skipping the GOP endorsing convention.

The candidates bring contrasting resumes — Davis has never held elected office, while Day has been in the Minnesota Senate since 1990.

Day highlighted that difference in a Sunday interview.

“We’re going to find out whether people want experience, or if they think this is a job for on-the-job training,” Day said. “(Davis) has never been involved in anything political.”

Davis, meanwhile, said his campaign will focus on Walz between now and the July filing deadline for the primary.

Davis cited Walz’s positions on taxes and illegal immigration as points of contrast.

“It should become clear that Tim Walz doesn’t represent the values of southern Minnesota,” Davis said.

The Walz campaign said Saturday that it has begun outreach efforts in Winona, Rochester and Mankato. The first-term teacher from Mankato had raised about $1.15 million by the end of 2007.

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

Some observers believe the Davis-Day split will benefit Walz, who already has a commanding fundraising lead. In a Saturday article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota GOP chair Ron Carey commented on Day’s candidacy, saying he is “giving Tim Walz a free pass.”

Day said he doesn’t believe his battle with Davis will dampen Republican prospects in November.

“It will make both of us work harder,” Day said.

Davis Wins Republican Nomination

By Sarah Kirchner, staff writer
Albert Lea Tribune, March 29, 2008

It was a political weekend in Albert Lea, as Brian Davis of Rochester won the Republican endorsement to run in November against Democratic Rep. Tim Walz in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District. Four hundred people showed up Saturday at the Republican 1st Congressional District Convention in Albert Lea to make the decision.

“I am honored and humbled to have such confidence placed in me by the delegates of this convention,” Davis said.

A doctor at Mayo Clinic, Davis was up against state House District 29A Rep. Randy Demmer for the nomination. Demmer had more supporters on the stage, but Davis had more enthusiasm from the crowd, which was evident in the 160-100 vote in Davis’ favor. One person voted for another candidate. From the convention, 261 votes were cast and 157 were needed for the 60 percent majority. Only one ballot was needed to come to a majority.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Norm Coleman were at the convention giving speeches to incite support for the Republican Party. Pawlenty said he thinks Republicans will do well in 2008, both nationally and in Minnesota, although he said he hasn’t had a chance to get to know many local candidates yet.

“Our country needs and our state needs and our party needs a positive message,” the governor said.

When the nomination was announced Davis thanked his family, his campaign workers and the crowd for their support. Saying Demmer is a “class act,” he thanked his competitor with a hug and a handshake.

“We’re disappointed,” Demmer said of the vote. “I’m proud to have run a great campaign.”
However, Demmer did announce he is leaning toward running for his state House seat for a fourth term. He said he will talk it over with his family to make sure running again is what they want to do.

Both Davis and Demmer, as well as many other speakers at the convention, said they are confident the Republican nominee will beat Walz, a teacher from Mankato who is in his first term in office.

“With the energy and passion in this room, I am confident we will be victorious this November,” Davis said.

But before Davis can go up against Walz, he faces a primary against longtime state Senator Dick Day. Day skipped the Republican endorsement to take the decision directly to voters. The primary election is held in September.

Walz is scheduled to start an outreach campaign in Mankato and Rochester.

Demmer said Davis has a lot of hard work ahead of him, but the position can be won through grassroots organizing and getting the message out that Walz is not the man to represent the 1st District. Demmer added he is confident Republicans will get a lot of seats back, on all levels, in the coming elections.

Davis, married with four kids ranging in age from 4 to 14, said he will work hard, raise the appropriate funds and represent the issues appropriate to the voters in the 1st District. His next campaign stop will be going door-to-door Monday in Mankato.

“This is an important election which will determine the direction our country faces,” he said.
Davis was born and raised in Waukegan, Ill., and has a bachelor’s in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois. He has a master’s and doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a medical doctorate from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He has been a doctor at Mayo Clinic and a Rochester resident since 1996.

His platform, he said, includes the belief that life begins at conception, the feeling that using embryos for stem cell research is unnecessary and a want to increase the domestic energy supply. Davis said he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, and if a civil union is another name for gay marriage, then he is against it.

Davis said he wants to maintain the military status that is second to none throughout the world and is wary of foreign entanglements. The current Congress, he said, is incapable of dealing with the illegal immigrant problem and Davis wants to stop the de facto amnesty program.

“We’re going to run a vigorous campaign and I’m excited to get started,” Davis said.

The convention had votes from all 22 counties within the district. Freeborn County brought 11 of the 12 delegates allocated and seated 10 with two alternates seated. A total of 261 delegates were allocated throughout the district and 232 were present Saturday.

The last time a Republican District Convention took place in Albert Lea was 2002.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Press Release from the Republican Party of Minnesota

Saturday March 29, 2008
CONTACT: Mark Drake

(Albert Lea, MN) - Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Ron Carey today issued the following statement after 1st Congressional District Republicans endorsed Dr. Brian Davis as the candidate to take on Tim Walz. Dr. Davis defeated Rep. Randy Demmer on the first ballot by winning 160 votes. Rep. Demmer tallied 100 votes, with one vote for other.

"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. Walz promised to be an 'independent leader' but has voted for Nancy Pelosi's left-wing agenda 95% of the time and against the interests of the First District. With Washington broken, I know Dr. Davis is the right candidate to send Walz packing."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Former State Representative and Regent Verne Long Endorses Brian Davis for Congress

For Immediate Release
March 20, 2008
Contact: Brian Davis

(Pipestone, MN) - Today, former State Representative and University of Minnesota Regent, Verne Long of Pipestone, endorsed Brian Davis as the Republican candidate in Minnesota's First Congressional District. Davis, a physician from Rochester, is seeking the Republican endorsement to challenge Tim Walz in the 2008 general election. Verne Long joins former U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz and many First District Activists in endorsing Brian Davis.

Long, a lifelong farmer, said, "I've known Brian Davis for nearly a decade as an accomplished, hard working and principled individual. He has strong support in our county for good reason. From the beginning of his campaign he has spoken directly to Republicans about the need to get back to our core roots of fiscal responsibility, strong national defense, and limited government. He has been unwavering in his commitment to these principles. Brian is the candidate who has worked the hardest and demonstrated the necessary ability to raise the money it will take to beat Tim Walz in the general election."

"Representative Long is a source of inspiration. I value his advice and counsel," said Davis in response to the endorsement. "It is an honor to have Representative Long's support for our campaign."

The First District Convention will be held Saturday, March 29 in Albert Lea, MN.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Martin County Straw Poll Heavily Favors Davis for Endorsement

For Immediate Release
March 16, 2008
Contact: Zachary

(Fairmont, MN) - On Saturday, March 15, the Martin County Republican Party held their County Convention to elect delegates to the First District Convention scheduled for March 29th. Republican Activists, State Legislators and others were present at the meeting. Martin County, in the western portion of the First District, is the most populous in the region with ten delegates being elected to the First District Convention.

During his speech to the Martin County Convention, First District Congressional candidate Brian Davis emphasized that Republicans need to elect and endorse candidates who are true to Conservative principles. His enthusiasm and clear message of fiscal responsibility, social conservatism, limited government, and the protection of our Constitutional liberties was well-received by those in attendance. As part of the balloting, a straw poll was conducted where Davis received 70% of the vote, 35 of 50 casting votes.

Davis said, "We are honored that the party stalwarts and rank-and-file have come forward with such strong support for my candidacy. We're working hard across the entire District, from the Mississippi river to the South Dakota border to earn this endorsement. Our ultimate goal is to bring conservative representation reflecting the character of this District to Washington, DC."

Neal Breitbarth, a Martin County Republican Activist and delegate elected to the First District Convention added, "Ultimately, these shared Conservative values of respect for life and marriage, support for lower taxes and less government spending, have lead me to support Brian." In a letter to First District Republicans, Breitbarth adds, "I hope you will join me in my support of Dr. Davis."

Brian Davis is a physician in Rochester who treats cancer patients. Together with his wife Lori, an emergency room doctor, they have four children and reside in Rochester, MN.


Freedom Club of America Endorses Brian Davis

Group views Davis as the best Republican candidate to defeat Walz in November

For Immediate Release
March 16, 2008

First District Republican Congressional candidate Brian Davis continues to build momentum as he received the coveted endorsement of the Freedom Club of America last week.

An organization of conservative Republican contributors, the Freedom Club of America only invests in candidates with rock solid conservative credentials who have a legitimate chance of winning the general election.

The Freedom Club is very selective in the races in which it chooses to get involved. Past recipients of the Freedom Club's select endorsement include Michelle Bachmann, John Kline and Gil Gutknecht.

"I am pleased and honored to receive the endorsement of this strong conservative organization," Davis said. "Many Republicans are looking for a candidate who is not a professional politician. Instead, voters want someone who brings private sector ideas and solutions to the challenges facing government."

Brian Davis is a physician in Rochester who treats cancer patients. Together with his wife Lori, an emergency room doctor, they have four children and reside in Rochester, MN.