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Ortman out; race down to two

Posted by: Abby Simons under Minnesota U.S. senators, Minnesota campaigns, Republicans Updated: May 31, 2014 - 12:46 AM

The race for Republican endorsement for U.S. Senate is down to two.

After failing to receive the required 20 percent of votes, State Sen. Julianne Ortman is out of the race, leaving St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg and Sunfish Lake investment banker Mike McFadden to face off on the sixth ballot. An endorsement requires 60 percent of votes. Dahlberg led McFadden by 10 points in round five.

Ortman, who long pledged to abide by the GOP endorsement, was a few votes shy of 20 percent, and before the totals were read did not explicity say she was dropping out.

"This is a great process," she said, flanked by her family. "This endorsement is the one chance we ordinary, hardworking Minnesotans have to influence the selection of our candidates to serve us in Washington.

Afterward, Ortman rushed out of the Convention Center as her husband said "no comment' to reporters.

According to convention rules, candidates are allowed to give five-minute speeches following the fifth round. McFadden, flanked by supporters, gave a fiery speech in which he said the cash in his campaign coffers is necessary to take on U.S. Sen. Al Franken--endorsement or not.

"As long as I believe that I'm the  best candidate to beat Al Franken I'm going to stay in the race, and I know some of you nto to vote for me and I respect that," he said.

Still, he said, "Vote for me and you'll have $2 million at your disposal to train on Al Franken on Monday."

Taking the stage, Dahlberg reiterated the message he's presented throughout the day: That he'll abide by the endorsement.

"It seems like it was ages ago but remember what I said when I came in here? I was the first candidate that said I will abide by the endorsement." he said to cheers from the crowd.

Dahlberg said his success rate in an overwhelmingly Democratic district is key to taking the Senate seat back.

"We cannot one more time let that part of the state go to the Democrats," Dahlberg said.

On to the sixth ballot.  Here are your fifth ballot results:

Chris Dahlberg: 857 votes, 44%

Mike McFadden: 659 votes, 34%

Julianne Ortman: 381 votes, 19.972%

Blank ballots: 313

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