My Experience at the 2010 DFL Convention

I guess it is about time I leave a little note on my 2010 DFL convention experience.

My wife and I left for Duluth Thursday morning, sans kids, to spend a little time together exploring the North Shore, a place that rates among our favorite places on earth.  We got a late start, but enjoyed the time alone. 

We have been visiting the North Shore on a regular basis since we got married, sometimes, several times a year.  But this was the first time we have ever stayed in Duluth proper.  My sister works for the company that owns the Inn on Lake Superior, and she was able to get us a very reasonably priced room.  

I enjoyed the location, the convention, the atmosphere, and the people I was there with.  Outside of my district, I ran into a few people I know, like a couple of my favorite bloggers Dave Mindeman and Colleen Morse.  I reintroduced myself to several legislators, this time as a candidate, and got some good advice.  Especially from John Doll, Will Morgan, Kevin Dahle and Larry Pogemiller.

I went to the convention as a strong Paul Thissen supporter.  I tried to convince other people in my district (mostly unsuccessfully) to back him as their second choice, but I knew it was an uphill battle when most of the delegates in SD36 supported Rybak or Kelliher.  Thissen was strong on the first ballot, and continued to be strong on several of the ballots.  I voted to endorse him on the first five ballots.

Before the fifth ballot, the handwriting was on the wall.  Rukavina had just withdrawn and endorsed Kelliher, and I thought it might be over.  I was quickly approaching the moment when I would be forced to make a second choice, but I voted for Thissen on the fifth ballot. 

As we approached the sixth ballot, I realized the Thissen campaign workers were not on the floor.  Moments later, the Chair announced that Paul Thissen would like to address the crowd.  After listening to Thissen’s concession, I looked up at the first alternate, Bill, an IBEW member who had supported Kelliher since the caucuses.  He was up and ready to come down to the floor, we made a few gestures and head nods and he ran downstairs as they announced “1 minute until the floor is frozen.”

I was happy to let Bill take my credential for what would likely be the final vote.  I moved up with the alternates and watched from above.  I hope Bill had a good time, and I think it is worth sending out a little appreciation for the delegates who waited there all day, but didn’t get to go down on the floor.

I had a great time, and would love to do it again someday.  Maybe next convention as a super delegate, a senator representing the 36th district.

Highlights of the convention:

Tom Rukavina!

How great 99% of the campaign workers and supporters were in all camps.

Ross Dybvig, the Thissen floor captain I worked with.

Being one of the 20 or so people to nominate Paul Thissen during his five minute floor demonstration

Letting an alternate and a Kelliher supporter take my place on the floor for the final vote and the endorsement celebration with Kelliher.

Lowlights of the convention:

Ole Savior – I’m not sure people were laughing with him…

I lost my expensive mechanical pencil.

A pretty rude Rybak supporter who didn’t like my answers

The great speeches that so many delegates ignored.

And the pizza that LeAnn in our delegation ordered that looked and smelled good, but I couldn’t eat because of this gluten-free thing.  Gluten-free crackers, mmmm…

I will be posting a lot less as I work on my campaign to become a State Senator.  But, keep checking back, I’m sure things will come up that I will want to blog about.  In the meantime, visit my campaign page at, become a fan on my Facebook fan page and follow me on


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