Businessman and Republican stalwart Brian Sullivan, who supports Tom Emmer in this year's gubernatorial race, knows a little about gubernatorial convention fights.

He and then Rep. Tim Pawlenty battled through 12 ballots in 2002 for Republican gubernatorial endorsement. Pawlenty won in the pre-dawn hours when Sullivan conceded.

"There are a lot of similarities because the race is down to two people with different sources of appeal," Sullivan said Friday from the convention floor. "But it's different because my background and Pawlenty's background offered a larger contrast than Emmer and Seifert."

He said, like in 2002, the candidates are both conservative. He said the split might come down to style but the decision might not come down after so many ballots.

"I just don't get that sense of that they're dug in and deadlocked," Sullivan said.

Since Sullivan - a Republican with no elected office - was running against Pawlenty - a Republican with much political experience - offered such a background contrast, delegates were more likely to have entrenched preferences, he said.

"I think there is more flux in 2002," Sullivan said.



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