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Republicans rally twice in Bemidji

Republicans will use the Fourth of July holiday to hold two rallies in Bemidji.

GOP-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, a state representative from Delano, will headline a Thursday night rally at the Beltrami County Courthouse lawn.

As part of Emmer's statewide "Freedom and Prosperity" three-day bus tour, he and all Republican constitutional officers running for office this fall will arrive at 8:15 p.m. Thursday for the hour-long rally.

In addition to Emmer and his running mate, Annette Meeks, the group includes former state auditor and current auditor candidate Pat Anderson, attorney general candidate Chris Barden and secretary of state candidate Dan Severson.

In addition, Beltrami County Republicans say Lee Byberg, 7th Congressional District Republican candidate, will also attend with his bus to the rally.

"The Freedom and Prosperity bus tour promises to be a lot of fun. But we also have a very serious message to communicate with Minnesotans," Emmer said in a letter to supporters announcing the tour.

"Minnesota's government finances are in serious trouble. State spending has literally doubled in the last decade. State spending cannot continue on auto-pilot with annual double digit increases," he said.

"The future is ours for the taking -- the future is bright for Minnesota if we are willing to take a positive approach to the challenges ahead," Emmer said. "We must redesign government to provide the services citizens expect in an efficient, affordable and sustainable manner. At the same time, we must create a business environment that will allow our existing employers to not only survive, but to once again thrive."

The group is making 20 stops in three days, including 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bagley City Park and 9:30 a.m. Friday at Bixby's Café in Grand Rapids.

The Beltrami County Republicans also plan to hold an ice cream social after Sunday's Grand Parade. That event will also be held at the Beltrami County Courthouse lawn, featuring free ice cream and a meet-and-greet with local GOP legislative candidates.

Byberg, who hopes to unseat U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, DFL-7th District, will headline the event.

Also expected are Senate 4 candidate John Carlson of Bemidji, House 4A candidate Richard Lehmann ofr Bemidji and House 2B candidate David Hancock of Bemidji.

As of Tuesday, no DFL events were announced.