Southern Minnesota Republicans will gather in Mankato Saturday for the 1st District Republican convention, where one of the main orders of business will be to endorse a candidate to run against DFL U.S. Rep. Tim Walz.
Republicans Allen Quist and Mike Parry are seeking the GOP endorsement and both say they will abide by it and drop out of the race if the other wins the backing of convention delegates.
Quist is a former state representative from St. Peter who has run unsuccessfully for governor. Two years ago, Quist lost an endorsement bid to run against Walz. Parry is a state senator from Waseca where he owns a pizza shop.
Both Quist and Parry are calling for reduced federal government spending and both say Walz, who's in his third term in Congress, is vulnerable this fall for supporting programs like the economic stimulus bill.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann recently sent a letter to 1st District convention delegates and alternates endorsing Quist.