Another Iron Range DFL convention: Curiouser and Curiouser

I attended the Itasca DFL convention today in Bovey and can report the following: Nothing I say will make the 2010 DFL endorsement process any more understandable or predictable.

I expected Tom Rukavina, fresh off a big win at his nearby home convention in SD-05 last weekend, to win handily. He did win the most votes but came away with only 3 of the 11 Itasca County state delegates.

Two candidates performed better than I expected. John Marty, backed by a very strong progressive, universal health care-focused community in Itasca County, also won three delegates have received the “bump” from the crazy reciprocal fractions that determine the final delegate.

Matt Entenza won two delegates, all owing to what was a very strong local organization that boosted his numbers from their organic base. An uncommitted marriage equity caucus also won a delegate, likely to back Entenza. I heard that a Tom Bakk delegate may have snuck in somewhere in that Entenza mix but I’m not sure about that.

The remaining two delegates went to “Itasca Uncommitted,” the caucus I called and of which I now represent as a delegate. We’re reserving the right to support one of several candidates at the convention based on what will serve our region the best. Personally, I am honestly undecided, something that is finally starting to bother me. The people in our subcaucus were supporting any combination of Kelliher, Rybak, Paul Thissen, Entenza, Marty, Bakk, Rukavina or others I wasn’t aware of. Point is, our two delegates aren’t sure bets for any campaign.

The really wild and wacky fact is that this is happening all over the state.

I just talked to my friend in Duluth and while he couldn’t account for all the delegates in today’s SD-07 convention it sounds like “uncommitted” had a huge day, with only a R.T. Rybak and Marty tying the pledged delegate race (3 delegates apiece, I heard, with Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Bakk and Rukavina at 2, and Entenza with 1 … nothing conclusive).

With all this confusion the campaign that wins the endorsement might well be the one that makes the dramatic move at the convention that establishes good will across this fractured landscape.


  1. Anonymous says

    The results at yesterday’s SD 7 convention in Duluth were: Ryback-3, Marty-3, Keliher-2, Bakk-2, Rukavina-2, Entenza-1, Uncommitted (Stealth Dayton)-3, Uncommitted-GLBT (Probably Stealth Entenza)-1, Truly Uncommitted-Progressive of Various Sorts-4.

  2. Anonymous says

    In the cities the “renew” group is taking over. Each person had to sign a pledge (!) that they would vote with the bloc for one of their three annointed candidates: Thissen, Kelliher or Rybak.

    Eric Black writes a good description. It was definitely that way at my convention. The subcaucus I was in didn’t want to have anything to do with them, because we knew they had their delegates pre-selected.

  3. Anonymous says

    In the cities, the “renew” group is taking over. Each of them must sign a pledge (!) that they will vote in a block for one of their three annointed candidates: Thissen, Kelliher or Rybak.

    Eric Black writes a pretty good description of it. It was true at my convention. People in our subcaucus wanted nothing to do with renew, because we knew they had their delegates pre-selected.

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