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Pawlenty ties in Beltrami GOP poll

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Two former governors - Arkansas' Mike Huckabee and Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty -- tied Saturday in a Beltrami County Republicans presidential straw poll.

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"Clearly, people are excited about the opportunity to reverse the unsustainable and distressing course of our country by electing a conservative to replace President Obama in 2012," said county party Chairman Ken Cobb.

With 46 delegates voting in the straw poll, both Hucabee and Pawlenty scored nine votes, good for 19.6 percent each.

Delegates at their annual convention were told that Hucakbee won the straw poll, followed by Pawlenty, but Cobb said a data input error occurred when posting the results into an onsite computer.

Delegates picked from a list of 23 potential presidential candidates, including newcomer billionaire Donald Trump, who got 4.3 percent of the vote.

That Huckabee emerged as the county GOP's top candidate comes as no surprise, as he has led presidential polls during delegate selection in previous presidential election years.

What is surprising is the top placing Pawlenty received, far more than statewide polls show.

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a newcomer to the presidential potential list from Minnesota, got 4 votes or 8.7 percent, and tied with Chris Christie, New Jersey's governor, for third place in the straw poll.

Among notables, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney each had three votes or 6.5 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin got none.

The group also held a straw poll for the 2012 U.S. Senate race in which DFLer Amy Klobuchar is expected to seek re-election. In that poll, Bachmann finished first with 10 votes or 21.7 percent.

"In addition, our delegates and local Republicans are committed to replacing the solid Obama vote of Amy Klobuchar with a new senator who better reflects common sense, conservative Minnesota values," Cobb said.

In that poll, Pawlenty and former GOP gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert tied for second with seven votes or 15.2 percent each. Last year's gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer was fourth with six votes or 13 percent.

Convention delegates re-elected Cobb as party chairman for a second, two-year term. They re-elected Kath Molitor as co-vice chairwoman for the 8th Congressional District and elected Al Berkowitz as co-vice chairman for the 7th Congressional District.

The party did well in the last election cycle, Cobb said, overturning Democrats in two seats to elect Dave Hancock for House 2B and John Carlson for Senate 4, seeing Chip Cravaack defeat 36-year incumbent Jim Oberstar in the 8th Congressional District, and seeing Republicans take over the Minnesota House and Senate and the U.S. House.

"We also saw Nancy Pelosi as the first woman ex-speaker of the U.S. House," Cobb said to a round of applause.

"A hundred years from now, which America will be around?" Cobb asked. "Will it be the free and thriving America on which our country was formed, on which our country grew and prospered, and which made our country the greatest in the world? Or will it be the dependent America that now threatens every aspect of our ... existence? Will American dreams still exist, or will it just be the American slumber?"

It is up to the Republicans, he said. "We have been called by fate to save our country."

Molitor said she wants to stay involved in the party, having served before as chairwoman and returning as a vice chairwoman.

"My country starts right here in this room," she told the 47 delegates. "We have to fight for our children and grandchildren. We cannot stand by."

Berkowitz, a tea party organizer, said the key question is what we do from here.

"I remind you of a quote from Adolf Hitler: 'Give me a generation, and I own the country.' Our children and grandchildren must remember that."

Elected as State Central Committee delegates were Cobb and Molitor, with alternates of Heidi Johnson, Abbi Cobb and Paul Nelson for the 7th District and John and Ann Carlson for the 8th District.

Cobb outlined some upcoming Republican events:

E Tea Party Town Hall Forum -- 6-7:30 p.m. March 7, Beltrami Electric Co-op meeting room.

E Tax Day Tea Party Rally -- 4:30-6 p.m., rally along Bemidji Avenue, followed by 5:30 p.m. program at the Lake Bemidji waterfront.

E Beltrami Republican Banquet -- 5:30 p.m. social, 6:15 p.m. dinner at Bemidji High School commons, U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-8th District, keynote speaker.

E Essay contest - for grades five through 12, on the topic of "Saving Our Republic for My Generation," Winning essay to be read at the March 7 Tea Party Town Hall Forum, and will receive three tickets and seated at Cravaack's table at the May 6 banquet.

Two former governors - Arkansas' Mike Huckabee and Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty -- tied Saturday in a Beltrami County Republicans presidential straw poll.

"Clearly, people are excited about the opportunity to reverse the unsustainable and distressing course of our country by electing a conservative to replace President Obama in 2012," said county party Chairman Ken Cobb.

With 46 delegates voting in the straw poll, both Hucabee and Pawlenty scored nine votes, good for 19.6 percent each.

Delegates at their annual convention were told that Hucakbee won the straw poll, followed by Pawlenty, but Cobb said a data input error occurred when posting the results into an onsite computer.

Delegates picked from a list of 23 potential presidential candidates, including newcomer billionaire Donald Trump, who got 4.3 percent of the vote.

That Huckabee emerged as the county GOP's top candidate comes as no surprise, as he has led presidential polls during delegate selection in previous presidential election years.

What is surprising is the top placing Pawlenty received, far more than statewide polls show.

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a newcomer to the presidential potential list from Minnesota, got 4 votes or 8.7 percent, and tied with Chris Christie, New Jersey's governor, for third place in the straw poll.

Among notables, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney each had three votes or 6.5 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin got none.

The group also held a straw poll for the 2012 U.S. Senate race in which DFLer Amy Klobuchar is expected to seek re-election. In that poll, Bachmann finished first with 10 votes or 21.7 percent.

"In addition, our delegates and local Republicans are committed to replacing the solid Obama vote of Amy Klobuchar with a new senator who better reflects common sense, conservative Minnesota values," Cobb said.

In that poll, Pawlenty and former GOP gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert tied for second with seven votes or 15.2 percent each. Last year's gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer was fourth with six votes or 13 percent.

Convention delegates re-elected Cobb as party chairman for a second, two-year term. They re-elected Kath Molitor as co-vice chairwoman for the 8th Congressional District and elected Al Berkowitz as co-vice chairman for the 7th Congressional District.

The party did well in the last election cycle, Cobb said, overturning Democrats in two seats to elect Dave Hancock for House 2B and John Carlson for Senate 4, seeing Chip Cravaack defeat 36-year incumbent Jim Oberstar in the 8th Congressional District, and seeing Republicans take over the Minnesota House and Senate and the U.S. House.

"We also saw Nancy Pelosi as the first woman ex-speaker of the U.S. House," Cobb said to a round of applause.

"A hundred years from now, which America will be around?" Cobb asked. "Will it be the free and thriving America on which our country was formed, on which our country grew and prospered, and which made our country the greatest in the world? Or will it be the dependent America that now threatens every aspect of our ... existence? Will American dreams still exist, or will it just be the American slumber?"

It is up to the Republicans, he said. "We have been called by fate to save our country."

Molitor said she wants to stay involved in the party, having served before as chairwoman and returning as a vice chairwoman.

"My country starts right here in this room," she told the 47 delegates. "We have to fight for our children and grandchildren. We cannot stand by."

Berkowitz, a tea party organizer, said the key question is what we do from here.

"I remind you of a quote from Adolf Hitler: 'Give me a generation, and I own the country.' Our children and grandchildren must remember that."

Elected as State Central Committee delegates were Cobb and Molitor, with alternates of Heidi Johnson, Abbi Cobb and Paul Nelson for the 7th District and John and Ann Carlson for the 8th District.

Cobb outlined some upcoming Republican events:

- Tea Party Town Hall Forum -- 6-7:30 p.m. March 7, Beltrami Electric Co-op meeting room.

- Tax Day Tea Party Rally -- 4:30-6 p.m., rally along Bemidji Avenue, followed by 5:30 p.m. program at the Lake Bemidji waterfront.

- Beltrami Republican Banquet -- 5:30 p.m. social, 6:15 p.m. dinner at Bemidji High School commons, U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-8th District, keynote speaker.

- Essay contest - for grades five through 12, on the topic of "Saving Our Republic for My Generation," Winning essay to be read at the March 7 Tea Party Town Hall Forum, and will receive three tickets and seated at Cravaack's table at the May 6 banquet.

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