By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
At the endorsing convention Saturday, May 5, the GOP nominated and endorsed Paul Gazelka for the state senator representing the 9th District, Mark Anderson for state representative in District 9A on unanimous votes. But it wasn’t that easy for Ron Kresha, who sought the endorsement for state representative in District 9B.
Paul Gazelka, who ran for the party’s nomination unopposed, was nominated by past district chairman Perry Nouis. The nomination passed unanimously.
Also running unopposed, Mark Anderson was nominated and endorsed.
“I’m the rookie of the day,” Anderson said, as he has never run for office before. “I will be seeking your advice. I want to hear from you, know what you’re thinking and understand where you are coming from.”
Because two residents from District 9B were nominated for the state representative seat, voting was done by ballot for the Republican Party endorsement. Kresha from Little Falls and Norm Siekman from Cushing, both gave speeches and the voting commenced.
Party rules read that 60 percent of the vote is needed to win an endorsement when two or more candidates have been nominated. With 68-70 delegates voting May 5, 42 votes were needed to cinch the endorsement.
The first vote came in with Siekman receiving 30 votes and Kresha receiving 38.
The two candidates again gave speeches, this time for three minutes each.
“The people in the trenches are who I am talking to. We need less regulations and more jobs in both Morrison and Todd counties,” said Siekman. “Who’s going to St. Paul to work for you? I have the skill, the background and the knowledge to do that; to make it better for you.”
Kresha said, “We need a fighter (in the legislature). Someone who will stop at nothing to get the job done. I am a born fighter.”
Again, the delegates voted.
The second vote gave Siekman 32 votes and Kresha again 38.
Neither had the 60 percent necessary to win the endorsement.
Both nominees spoke again for one minute and a third vote was taken. Siekman then received 31 votes and Kresha received 39.
Again, both candidates spoke for one minute each. The fourth vote gave Siekman 29 votes and Kresha 40, still not enough to win the endorsement.
Both Kresha and Siekman gave another one-minute speech. But, before the fifth vote, Siekman yielded the endorsement to Kresha.