BREAKING: AJ Kern to Announce Primary Bid Against Rep. Emmer – Cites Endorsement Convention Fouls

UPDATE: A response from Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota Keith Downey is posted at the end of the story:

Republican AJ Kern intends to announce a primary bid today against United States Representative Tom Emmer (R – Congressional District 6).  Kern and Emmer sought the party endorsement at the district’s convention in April.  Emmer achieved the required 60 percent of delegates by 11 votes (212-119) and won the endorsement on April 23rd.

Kern is claiming convention misconduct led to her decision to primary against Emmer.  Kern tells Alpha News the three reasons she thought the convention was mishandled include her campaign being kept out of the ballot room, a violation of “the rules for seating Delegates and Alternates,” and there never being “a motion and vote to endorse a candidate.”

Kern says the two campaigns were “provided different treatment during ballot counting,” explaining, “The Emmer campaign was provided observer(s) in the room while ballot counting occurred. The representative from the Kern campaign, Dr.John Kern, was physically blocked from entering the room during ballot counting.”

In regards to her contention with the seating of delegates and alternates, Kern says, “Sworn statements also indicate that after the permanent voting roll had been created, Alternates were wrongly unseated for late arriving Delegates in violation of the party constitution and convention rules.”

A sworn statement by Minnesota State Senator John Pederson (given to Alpha News by the Kern campaign) backs-up some of Kern’s allegations:

pederson statement

“It’s a catch-22.” Kern said, “Brashness by convention leadership and some district chairs switched up seated Alternates for late arriving Delegates. Emmer Delegates were arriving late and walking right onto the convention floor. In an effort to verify who should be seated, we requested preliminary and final credentials reports during the convention. Our requests were denied by the CD6 chair and convention leadership.”

Kern claims that she did share her complaints with Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey. Alpha News reached out to both Downey and Emmer and did not receive a response prior to the publication of this article.  Subscribe to Alpha News for follow-ups to this story.

UPDATE: Response from Keith Downey, who says he did reach out to the Kern campaign: “The problem for them is that they never raised a single one of their issues during the convention. The delegates during the convention are the proper place to bring issues to have them adjudicate by virtue of their vote.

The convention was properly called, rules adopted, credentials approved, ballots cast and counted, business concluded, and adjourned.  All with no motions challenging anything from the Kern team.  Now that the convention is over, there is not a Party process for recount or complaint. Their only recourse is a new convention or a lawsuit, which is highly unlikely to succeed given the proper conduct of the convention.”


Julia Erynn