Movin’ on to the primary

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Perhaps the least surprising announcement regarding the GOP side of Minnesota's gubernatorial race.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he plans to skip next month’s Republican state convention and go straight to the August primary.

Pawlenty’s move means he won’t seek the party endorsement. In a statement Tuesday, his campaign says the two-term governor entered the race too late for to have a “fair fight” for the endorsement.

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson is seen as the front-runner for endorsement, which brings party support and money.

Pawlenty says he’ll make his case to voters in the Aug. 14 primary instead.

Naturally this is sending many GOP delegates into a tizzy a mere 2-1/2 weeks before the state convention. One school of thought is that convention business is such an exorbitant expense in terms of money and time that it feels almost futile if Pawlenty's substantial war chest will essentially purchase the Republican nomination. Still others (particularly Jeff Johnson supporters) are morally offended due to their perceived superior voices possibly being usurped in a primary, as if what they have to say should be the final word.

Bottom line: Minnesota is a primary state. And to suggest that non-delegate GOP voters (many of whom could be of valuable assistance in volunteering on behalf of Republican candidates) should have their voices marginalized doesn't exactly go a long way in busting a 12-year losing streak in statewide races.

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