Congressman Timothy Walz (DFL) of Mankato, waiting for the November campaign
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The battle for political power will begin in earnest on Wednesday, after voters have their say and narrow the field for the November ballot in the Minnesota Primary Election.
Congressman Tim Walz is waiting in the wings, after building up a political war chest of some $808-thousand, ready to face either Allen Quist or State Senator Mike Parry.
Parry and Quist deadlocked for the Republican Party's nomination at the district nominating convention and are settling it in the primary. For months, the two men have criss-crossed the First Congressional District stretching from the Mississippi River to the South Dakota border, holding "town hall" meetings and appearing in parades.
"Our team has participated in over 30 parades, held over 40 meet and greets and everywhere I go, I hear the same things," said Parry in an email blast to supporters. "We need to repeal Obamacare, tackle the deficit and get the good citizens working again."
Parry will gather with supporters at Katie O'Leary's Beef and Brew in Waseca to watch the votes come in Tuesday evening, and NewsCenter's Brie Groves will be there to catch the reaction.
Quist, the farmer and former Bethany Lutheran College professor from St. Peter, says he stands with his family and is doing this for his grandchildren.
"I have the conviction, the leadership ability to make a difference, I have a much firmer policy on the matter of balancing the budget," says Quist.
Quist was getting ready to march in Kasson's town parade at the time; Quist and Parry have often been at the same community parades, meeting as many potential voters as possible. Both men have tried to portray themselves as the better person to take on Rep. Walz and reverse "Obamacare."
"Never improved anything by having the government take it over and I think we need to pull back, look at free market solutions on healthcare. I also think we need to do a lot to take the shackle off of business," says Quist.
Quist will gather with his supporters at Mankato City Center Hotel to watch the votes come in, and NewsCenter's Katie Lange will be there to report on their reaction.
Tuesday afternoon, Walz will be appear at McFarland Truck Lines in Austin, touting the impact of the new transportation bill on the district over the next two years.
While much of our region's attention will be on the battle for Congress, there are a host of other races getting the spotlight on Tuesday.
Austin Mayor Tom Stiehm faces four challengers, including City Council Member Marian Clennon, as he hopes to make it onto the November ballot. In Winona, where Mayor Jerry Miller is not running for re-election, six candidates are vying for enough votes to move on. And in Albert Lea, Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr. hopes to fend off at least one of his two challengers to get to the November ballot.
There are primary election battles in three Olmsted County Commission districts, and two contests for seats on the Rochester School Board.
And in Wabasha County, District 3 Commissioner Merl Norman faces three challengers in his re-election bid. Norman has been at the heart of the effort to shrink the size of county government by getting rid of the county administrator position, which has stirred tremendous controversy and dispute in Wabasha County.
We'll have all the results on KTTC NewsCenter at 10 p.m. on Tuesday.
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