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
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."