The Independence Party of Minnesota has opted to stay out of the only statewide race on the ballot this fall.
IP delegates did not endorse a candidate to run against incumbent DFL U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar at their party convention in Roseville this weekend. Two candidates — accountant Glen Menze and farmer Stephen Williams — vied for the party’s backing.
Menze came within two votes of the 60 percent needed for the endorsement and said he plans to head to an August primary for the IP slot on the ballot. “The majority of the delegates supported my endorsement,” he said in a statement. “I’m happy with the result, which shows strong delegate support for my primary race on August 14.”
IP Party officials have said they plan to focus their limited resources on winning legislative races this fall. Party delegates endorsed 13 candidates for the state House and Senate over the weekend.
Activists also overwhelmingly passed resolutions to oppose Republican-led constitutional amendments on the ballot to outlaw gay marriage in the state and require photo identification in order to vote.
“I think the results of today’s convention reflect not only the feelings of our supporters but those of a wide majority of Minnesotans,” IP chair Mark Jenkins said in a statement. “People are frustrated with our Legislature’s inability to responsibly balance the state budget. And they’re wary of legislators using the constitution to divide Minnesotans.”