Sixth District Republicans agree to avoid primary battle

The pledge
GOP candidates in the 6th District, with the exception of Phil Krinkie, signed a pledge to abide by the party endorsement process. Though he didn't sign the pledge, Krinkie says he will honor the endorsement.
MPR Photo/Tim Pugmire

(AP) An effort Friday by the Minnesota GOP to head off a September primary in the 6th Congressional District ran into resistance when one of four candidates refused to sign on. Rep. Phil Krinkie, R-Lino Lakes, said he's made repeated statements that he won't challenge the endorsed Republican in a primary, and he's not wavering on that. But he said the "Sixth District Republican Party Endorsement Pledge" is unnecessary and stagey.

The pledge - signed by Rep. Jim Knoblach, Sen. Michele Bachmann and businessman Jay Esmay at in front of television cameras at a news conference - is a commitment not to run against a party-endorsed candidate in the primary.

Signing the pledge
Sixth District congressional candidate Jay Esmay signs the pledge to honor the party endorsement.
MPR Photo/Tim Pugmire

Republicans meet May 6 to pick a candidate for the 6th District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy, who's running for U.S. Senate.

"We want May 6 to be the final word on this race," said GOP chairman Ron Carey.

Krinkie wouldn't rule out running in the primary if another non-endorsed candidate breaks their pledge and challenges the GOP nominee.

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