Senate District 2 DFL Endorsing Convention Held
Contest for State Rep 2A, Jerry Loud wins over Roger Erickson
Organizers were pleasantly surprised when a larger than expected 150 delegates traveled to Ogema (Chief in Ojibwe) on the White Earth Indian Reservation for the Senate District 2 DFL endorsing convention. The convention was called to order at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 19, 2016, at the Ogema Community Center in Becker County.
District 2A registered 89 delegates plus five alternates, while District 2B registered 49 delegates and 1 alternate, with a total of eight guests. The Red Lake Indian Reservation sent 27 delegates and three guests to the convention.
Senate District 2 DFL Chairman, Ted Fiskevold of Detroit Lakes called the convention to order at 10:30 p.m.
The main order of business was to endorse a State Senator and two State Representative candidates to carry the DFL banner into the 2016 general election.
But before that agenda item came some routine party business and the election of Senate District 2 DFL officers. Ted Fiskevold of Detroit Lakes was reelected Chair. Pam McCrory of Bemidji was elected Vice-Chair replacing Sandy Eaton from Lake of Woods who did not seek reelection. Elected Secretary was Becky Colebank of Clearbrook, elected Treasurer Lou Engberg of Detroit Lakes, Monaya Lund of Frazee was elected data Secretary, and Sam Strong of Red Lake was elected Outreach Officer. (Formerly Affirmative Action Officer)
After nomination and seconding speeches by Tim Sumner of Red Lake and LuAnn Hurd-Lof of Park Rapids, incumbent State Senator Rod Skoe of Clearbrook was endorsed by acclamation by the entire convention body. Though there was no contest, Skoe still stood for a ten minutes question and answer period. Paul Utke of Park Rapids is seeking the GOP Senate District 2 endorsement to run against Skoe.
Next up was the nomination and seconding of Bryan Klabunde for State Representative 2B by Becky Aastad and Paul Benson. Klabunde, a farmer from Waubun, was unopposed for the DFL House 2B endorsement. Having no opposition, he was also endorsed by acclamation by delegates from District 2B only who were seated on the right side of the room. He will face incumbent Rep. Steve Green, GOP Fosston, in the November election.
Next DFL Chair Ted Fiskevold called for nominations for District 2A which includes Lake of the Woods County, Hubbard County, Clearwater County, and most of Beltrami County except the Bemidji area.
Sam Strong and Stephanie Cobenais both of Red Lake nominated Jerry Loud, a Red Lake member from Puposky. Next Michael Stillday of Red Lake nominated Roger Erickson of Baudette.
There being no further nominations, each candidate took four minutest to introduce themselves, then stood for a 30 minute question and answer period, followed by a three minute closing.
Speeches made and questions answered, it was now time for the delegates to vote. Ballots were distributed to 89 delegates from District 2A. Appointed tellers collected the ballots and the count began. Somehow a mistake was made with 90 ballots somehow received from only 89 delegates. A candidate must have 60% of the vote to attain endorsement or it goes to a second ballot, and continue with subsequent ballots until one candidate receives the required 60% plus one.
The body would have to vote again because one of the candidates must have been very close to the 60% threshold. If whomever was ahead was ahead by more the a couple votes there would have been no need to revote, as only a one vote would made a difference. So the ballot was spoiled and the delegation voted again. Another example of how one vote can indeed make a difference.
Delegates held up their delegate badges to make sure an accurate count of delegates was made. The ballots were collected, and the tellers counted the votes twice. With 89 delegates, the magic number to be reached would be 53.4 votes, so in effect the winner would need 54 votes to gain endorsement.
Chair Fiskevold announced the winner, Jerry Loud winning with exactly 54 votes. Had he gotten just one less vote he would have been shy of the 60% needed and a second ballot would have had to be taken. Loud and Erickson shook hands before Fiskevold called upon the three candidates to come before the convention.
"Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you the DFL endorsed candidates for SD2. For State Rep 2A Jerry Loud, for Senate Rod Skoe, and for State Rep 2B Bryan Klabunde," said Fiskevold. Many expressed sadness that someone had to lose when there are two such good candidates. Erickson was thanked for his service to much applause.
Loud, a newcomer to politics, is the executive director of Oshkii-Maajitahdah (New Beginnings). Loud is a BSU graduate and spent 10-years in the US Navy.
Loud does not know who he will face in the general election yet as incumbent District 2A Rep. Dave Hancock, GOP of Bemidji, recently announced he would not seek re-election. In 2012, Erickson defeated Hancock and Hancock then won the seat back in 2014. The Senate District 2 GOP Endorsing Convention is set for 7 to 9 p.m. March 28 at the Clearwater County Courthouse in Bagley.
A lunch of sloppy joes, pickles, chips, beverages and deserts were served throughout the proceedings as fundraiser for the endorsed candidates. Skoe, Loud and Klabunde were each given a $500 donation from the Senate District to begin their campaigns before heading home.
Beltrami County Convention
The Beltrami County DFL Convention will be held at Red Lake Nation College on Sunday, April 10, 2016. Registration begins at noon, convention is at 1 pm. The main order of business includes election of party officers, discussion of platform resolutions, and electing delegates to the next two levels of convention, the Congressional District 7 (Collin Peterson) in Moorhead and State Convention in Minneapolis. It is at these two conventions that delegates will be selected to attend the National Convention in Philadelphia