Minnesota Republicans gathered in Rochester on Friday to give the statewide candidates the push they need to take back power.
"Who is ready to win some elections in 2014?" Republican chairman Keith Downey asked the cheering crowd.
On Friday, the GOP activists plan to select candidates to run for auditor, attorney general, secretary of state and U.S. Senate to oust Democratic Sen. Al Franken. The senate fight, expected to begin Friday afternoon, will be the centerpiece of the day.
On Saturday, the crowded race for governor will take the stage as Republicans select their favorite to take on Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.
In a rare move for Republicans, several candidates in both the senate and the governor's races are expected to fight in a primary.
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Photo: Chairman Keith Downey addresses the convention//David Joles, Star Tribune
Minnesota senators sharply questioned federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch during Wednesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he'd be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations.
Other business groups like realtors, electric utility Xcel Energy Services, private colleges, tobacco giant Altria, Polymet Mining, health insurers and hospitals contributed to the overall total of $57.7 million to lobby the Legislature, the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton and Metro municipal governments.