GOP’s Krinkie bypassing 6th District convention for primary campaign

Former Republican state Rep. Phil Krinkie will skip Saturday's 6th District GOP convention and fight instead for the party nomination in a primary.

While he'd never pledged to abide by the GOP endorsement, he had been actively campaigning for it. Now, he says he's waging a primary campaign because too few Republican participate in the endorsement process.

"We just feel that it's a little hypocritical to go to the convention, ask people to vote for you and support you and then turn around and run in a primary," said Krinkie.

Krinkie of Circle Pines is one of three Republicans hoping to replace U.S. Rep Michele Bachmann, who isn't running for re-election.

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Phil Krinkie
Former Republican State Rep. Phil Krinkie MPR Photo/ Mark Zdechlik

Former State Rep. Tom Emmer of Delano and Anoka County Board Chair Rhonda Sivarajah of Lino Lakes are also seeking the Republican nomination.

Emmer is far and away the front-runner in the money race, having hauled in $830,000 through March of 2014. Krinkie has pumped $350,000 into his campaign so far.

Emmer says he'll drop out of the race if the convention endorses someone else. Sivarajah will be at the convention but has left open the option of a primary.

Two Democrats are also actively campaigning for the seat Bachmann is leaving,  Jim Read of Avon and Sartell Mayor Joe Perske. Both pledge to abide by the DFL endorsement, meaning a Democratic primary battle is unlikely.