Maguire ends campaign to back Carlson for Senate
Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire announced today he is ending his campaign for DFL endorsement for the District 51 Senate seat and will back Jim Carlson, the party‘s endorsed candidate.
“While it’s not an easy to decision, we are grateful for the commitment of our friends in the DFL community and are humbled by their support and confidence.” Maguire said in a written statement.
The announcement ends a months-long drama in the race, which pitted two Eagan politicians against one another, and enables Carlson, a former state senator, to focus his efforts toward Republican Sen. Ted Daley.
Maguire challenged the party’s endorsement of Carlson after a discovery that some delegate votes were not counted at February’s District 51 DFL convention.
Responding to delegate concerns, convention organizers and party officers discovered a series of vote-counting errors and failures to report or count votes cast for Maguire in each of the convention’s first three ballots.
The official count in the fourth round of ballots gave Carlson 200 delegate votes, the 60 percent he needed for endorsement. Maguire took 133 delegate votes, or 40 percent.
The state DFL Constitution and Bylaws Commission on May 12 denied Maguire’s challenge.
The commission concluded that Maguire “failed to provide clear and convincing evidence that the vote counting and reporting errors affected the outcome of the convention.”
It went on to say that contrary to Maguire’s position, there is no “convincing evidence that the vote counting and reporting errors shifted the ‘momentum’ of the convention in Carlson’s favor.”
Maguire said he disagrees with the commission’s ruling, but accepts it nonetheless to end divisiveness within the party.
“Engaging in a primary would not alleviate but potentially exacerbate the rancor and division that has been created,” he said.
The mayor added that he will give his “unwavering” support for Carlson in the November election and encourages his followers to do the same.
“I’m so happy the mayor has decided to put aside his campaign so we can all go forward,” Carlson said. “He’ll help us get the DFL back in control in the south metro.”