ST. PETER - Republican candidate Allen Quist gained a clear path to the Minnesota House 19A special election Tuesday when no other Republican candidates filed.
Fellow Republican candidate Jim Golgart had initially indicated he may run in the primary after failing to capture the Republican endorsement last week. He declined to file Tuesday, citing the need to attend to his family. Quist won the endorsement with 35 votes or 85 percent of the 41 voting delegates at the endorsement convention.
Quist also picked up a boost from former presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann on Tuesday when Bachmann sent out a fundraiser e-mail on Quist's behalf. Bachmann is notorious for being very strong fundraiser during her presidential and election bids.
In the e-mail, Bachmann called on her supporters to donate up to $50 to her "dear friend Allen Quist" for his special election run.
Bachmann has been a long-time friend of the Quist family since her political start and Quist's wife Julie served as her district director from 2008 to 2011.
Bachmann previously endorsed Quist for his candidacy for the 1st District congressional race in 2012. Her support came right before the Republican endorsement convention, but it was not enough to help Quist win the 14-hour, 23-ballot endorsement battle that failed to pick an official candidate.
What remains to be seen is whether Bachmann's support will have more of an impact in the state level race. In the congressional race, Bachmann support extended to an in-person event and selling Quist her donor list, but these actions failed to boost Quist's weak fundraising in that race.
Bachmann's well known fundraising abilities may help Quist to raise the $34,300 spending limit for the special election, particularly since he cannot self-fund the majority of the funds like he did in his congressional campaign.
The special election will be held Feb. 12 and the primary will be held Jan. 29.
The DFL party will hold its 19A endorsement convention Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in North Mankato.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)