Sunfish Lake businessman Mike McFadden has pulled ahead of St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg in the ninth ballot for the GOP endorsement for U.S. Senate.

Dahlberg held the lead until a virtual tie in the eight round, when he led McFadden by only eight votes. McFadden since surged ahead by more than eight percent of the votes. The most recent results were met with wild cheers from an enthusiastic McFadden camp. Meanwhile, educator and Navy Reservist Phillip Parrish, a relative unknown candidate who wowed the crowd yesterday before dropping out, threw his support behind Dahlberg, asking him to abide by the endorsement. Parrish previously backed Minnesota Sen. Julianne Ortman before she was knocked out of the race Friday.

The 10th ballot could be key for McFadden and Dahlberg, as delegates can vote for "No endorsement" afterward. However, it appears now that McFadden could be creeping closer to the 60 percent threshold necesssary for endorsement.

The ballot counting process is also speeding up. Although it took about an hour Friday night and during the wee hours Saturday. The ninth round tabulation only took 18 minutes. Stay tuned.

Here are the numbers:

Chris Dahlberg: 879 votes, 44.98 percent

Mike McFadden, 1,039 votes, 53.17 percent

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GOP Senate candidates emerge from round 8 in deadlock

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Minnesota Republicans turn to governor's race