Jason Lewis wins GOP Senate endorsement

Jason Lewis wins GOP Senate endorsement

May 30, 2020

Republican Jason Lewis is officially his party’s pick to challenge DFL incumbent U.S. Sen. Tina Smith this November.

The former congressman and radio host won an endorsement vote by a landslide during a virtual Minnesota Republican Party convention held Saturday.

Lewis, who lost a suburban swing district in 2018, has been a vocal critic of top Democrats’ handling on issues ranging from the coronavirus pandemic to protests that turned violent in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Saturday’s remote vote was the party’s second attempt at picking a candidate for the only statewide seat on the ballot in 2020. An earlier attempt to hold a virtual convention was canceled amid software problems.

In addition to endorsement votes and other party business, the annual convention usually gives candidates and party leaders an opportunity to rally supporters heading into the election season. But both the GOP and DFL had to scrap planned in-person affairs amid the coronavirus pandemic this year, moving to remote formats instead.

The DFL Party was also supposed to meet virtually this weekend but postponed its plans as unrest continued in the wake of Floyd’s death. Chair Ken Martin said delaying “was the only appropriate course of action given the grief and anger gripping much of our state and nation.”