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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

MN: Minnesota candidates differ on convention approaches

4:33 PM

With the Democratic National Convention underway in Denver and the Republicans gearing up for their St. Paul convention in less than a week, Minnesota pols are taking differing approaches to the conventions.

Norm Coleman plans to attend the GOP convention that's being hosted by the town where he was once mayor, but he bluntly told Minnesota Public Radio recently that "If the convention wasn't in St. Paul, I wouldn't be at the convention."

His Dem rival Al Franken tells CQ Politics he turned down a Wednesday speaking slot in Denver in order to visit the Minnesota State Fair (which runs from Aug. 21 through Sept. 1), visit with voters and eat "amazing roasted corn."

At the House level, the state's Republicans are all planning some degree of participation in St. Paul, ranging from Michele Bachmann, who's due to address the convention Sept. 1, to Dick Day, who's planning to attend some interest-group events related to the convention but not much more.

"They're not inviting me to things," said Day, who's challenging the party-endorsed Brian Davis in next month's primary for a chance to take on first-term Dem incumbent Tim Walz.

And as of Monday, GOPer Erik Paulsen, running for the seat left open by the retirement of long-time GOP incumbent Jim Ramstad, hadn't decided if he would take the convention speaking opportunity that had been offered.

"My whole attitude is that I'm really focused on the race and during the convention I just want to be campaigning in the district," Paulsen said.


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