David Gerson says he is leading in the delegate count for the Minnesota Second Congressional District Republican endorsement. That may be surprising, because he is running against candidates with better name recognition, more powerful supporters or more money.
Gerson says right now he has the majority of the delegates that have been elected to the district convention. Several local conventions that elect more delegates to the district convention will be held in the coming weeks, and Gerson says he is on track to have the needed 60% of the delegates to get the endorsement. The endorsing convention is on May 7.
Former state Senator John Howe, who is also running for the Republican endorsement, confirms Gerson is leading in the delegate count so far.
Gerson has run twice before against retiring incumbent Rep. John Kline. He has a loyal group of supporters who have experience with the Republican caucus and convention system. Gerson’s position that the constitution needs to be strictly interpreted is often cited by his supporters as why they like him.
Gerson is running against two better-known candidates — former radio talk show host Jason Lewis and Howe. Also in the race is businesswoman Darlene Miller, who has the backing of Kline. She says she will run in the August primary.
Lewis has said he will abide by the endorsement. Howe has said he will wait and see who else enters the race before he decides to abide by the endorsement.
Fundraising stats and video interview with Gerson
Video at top: Interview with Gerson after final debate with his Republican opponents before the endorsing convention
Howe has raised more money than any of the other Republicans in the race — $643,485 according to OpenSecrets.org That’s more than three times the $164,980 Gerson has raised, and six times more than the $102,574 Lewis has raised. Miller so far has not reported any funds raised.
The presumptive Democratic candidate in the race, Angie Craig, has raised $1,287,628 — more than all of the Republican candidates combined.
Gene Rechtzigel is also in the race — but so far has received minimal support from delegates, barely qualifying for the final debate among the five candidates before the endorsing convention.