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It looks like has ceased being a thorn in the side for the Minnesota GOP establishment; she’s now becoming a serious threat. Jeffers won the Libertarian Party nomination to run for governor in the state, but is holding out on accepting that nomination as she plans to defeat incumbent Governor Tim Pawlenty at the Minnesota Republican convention. From MPR:
“I think Tim Pawlenty is ripe for the picking,” Jeffers says. “And I think once you throw in this stadium bill, if he signs for the Twins stadium, I think the voters are so irritated that they will throw him out of office.”
Jeffers has never run for office before, but has often been in the news as a leader in the fight against the Hennepin County smoking ban. Jeffers says Pawlenty signed a no-new-taxes pledge, but he hasn’t kept his promise.
“Tim Pawlenty is a very nice man. He is not a fiscal conservative,” Jeffers claims. “A fiscal conservative doesn’t raise $559 million in fees last year, doesn’t put up almost a billion-dollar bonding bill this year, and I think the voters know better than that.”
Jeffers wants to challenge Pawlenty for the GOP endorsement at the party’s state convention in June. But party officials say Jeffers identifies herself as a Libertarian, and the party’s convention is reserved for Republicans only.
It looks like the big tent is getting much smaller these days, as the Republican leadership seems committed to ensuring they don’t have an economic conservative represented at their convention.
Party spokesman Mark Drake says Jeffers would make a mockery of the GOP endorsement process.
“I think this whole thing is a publicity stunt, where she would attempt to use our delegates as campaign props,” says Drake.
As a former Republican, I’ll suggest that the typical GOP endorsement process is already a mockery of the delegates. Instead of a coronation, Jeffers offers them a choice. I’m not up-to-speed on Minnesota election code and wonder if there is ground for legal action if Jeffers is denied a spot at the GOP convention.
They are already denying Jeffers delegate lists. They are trying to prohibit any competition. This isn’t stopping Jeffers, though. A that Jeffers will be at a press conference at the State Capitol Rotunda at noon today, where she “will officially announce her bid for the endorsement of the Minnesota Repubican Party.”