Beltrami County DFL Convention Held
Convention is First Hosted by Red Lake Nation; Pride in Diversity for All Elections
More than 100 delegates traveled to Red Lake Nation College on the Red Lake Indian Reservation on Sunday, April 10, 2016. Their purpose was to attend the Beltrami County DFL Convention, the first time ever held at Red Lake. Registration began at noon, and convened about at 1:15 pm.
The main order of business was the election of party officers, discussion of platform resolutions, and electing delegates to the next two levels of convention, Congressional and State. It is at these two upcoming conventions that delegates will be selected to attend the National Convention in Philadelphia.
The convention Credentials Committee registered 29 delegates from the 8th Congressional District, Sixty-five delegates and four alternates from the 7th Congressional District, and seven guests.
Beltrami County DFL Chairman, Steven Nelson of Bemidji called the convention to order at 1:15 p.m. After the posting of the US colors by Navy veteran and DFL endorsed candidate for Senate District 2A Representative Jerry Loud, the convention stood to recite the pledge of allegiance.
Nelson introduced Red Lake Tribal Treasurer Annette Johnson and Red Lake College Board member Bill May who welcomed the delegates to Red Lake Nation and the Tribal College respectively.
The reading of the Affirmative Action Statement by Beltrami DFL Outreach and Inclusion Officer Michael Stillday was followed by short speeches delivered by DFL Rep. John Persell, District 5A, and Jerry Loud, DFL endorsed candidate for District 2A Representative.
Election of convention officers came next with Steve Barrows of Crow Wing County elected convention chair. Often party officials from outside the county will be invited to chair a convention to symbolize impartiality. Barrows then appointed Don Bye also of Crow Wing County as parliamentarian, Tharen Stillday of Red Lake was appointed Secretary, Mike Simpkins of Bemidji as Sergeant at Arms, and Michael Meuers, Stephanie Cobenais, Roger Wing, and Sarah Banta as Convention Tellers.
The adoption of the convention's agenda and rules came next while concurrently delegates chose 20 resolutions from a five-page list that Beltrami County will submit for inclusion in the State DFL Platform.
The rest of the convention was concerned with elections for County Treasurer, State Central Committee, County Executive Committee and Delegates to Congressional and State Conventions.
There was a contest for Beltrami County Treasurer with David Schafroth of Bemidji the winner.
Mike Simpkins was elected as Beltrami County's third Delegate to the State DFL Central Committee, (the chair and vice chair of the party are automatic delegates) while Tharen Stillday, Thelma May and Lance Egley were elected alternates.
Next came the election of directors to serve on the Beltrami County DFL Executive Committee. Elected were Michael Meuers, Stephanie Cobenais, Tharen Stillday, Heather Johnson, Sam Strong, Matt Havamaki, and Charles Dolson.
Finally, the convention separated by Congressional District for the purpose of electing delegates to the 7th and 8th Congressional and State conventions. (Beltrami County is split between two Congressional Districts). Delegates are elected to both district and state conventions.
Six delegate and six alternates were elected from the 7th District. Elected delegates were Pam McCrory, Tim Sumner, Theren Stillday, Mike Simpkins, Sarah Banta and Sam Strong. Alternates elected were Cari Kluthe, Michael Meehlhause, Celeste Beaulieu, Patrick Scholz, Thelma May, and Larry Van Wert.
Three delegates and alternates were elected from the 8th District. Elected delegates Katie Sorensen, Ben Weseloh, and Dale Dreyer delegates, and alternates are Trisha Fericks and Aiden Chadwick.
The Beltrami County DFL Convention then adjourned about 4:30 pm.