Minnesota Senate Tax Committee Chair Julianne Ortman, the first woman to hold that powerful position, failed to win Republican Party endorsement in her re-election fight Tuesday night.

After a two-hour balloting fight at her local district convention in Chaska, neither she nor challenger Bruce Schwichtenberg won the super majority needed from activists to get their nod. The result means that the ten year legislative veteran from Chanhassen will have to vie in a primary for the chance to return to the Capitol.

Schwichtenberg ran to the right of the Republican lawmaker, whom even some legislative colleagues said was too moderate for the party. In announcing his candidacy, Schwichtenberg told local Republicans that Ortman was a " career politician whose positions often seem to have more to do with her political future than the will of her constituents," according to the Brick City blog.

Ortman, who won her last election with 63 percent of the vote in 2010, had the support of the political Voices of Conservative Woman and the experience of the office.

"She serves her state well and we will defend her," said Jennifer DeJournett, Voices president, after Ortman was denied the endorsement.


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