It's official: Gander drops out, Quam jumps in
Lots of news coming from local Republicans. Last night at the Senate District 30 endorsing convention, Rochester businessman Jim Gander announced he was dropping out of the Senate race. In an e-mail this morning, Gander said he decided not to challenge DFL Sen. Ann Lynch for the seat because he needs to focus on his business, Superior Mechanical.
Here is his statement:
"Yes, I have decided to drop opt of the race. It was a very difficult decision for Lisa and me. However, the good news is Superior Mechanical has rehired most of its people and we have a good amount of work ahead of us for the next year. The economy has taken its toll on many businesses especially the construction businesses. Superior Mechanical has taken on the challenge and reached out beyond its comfort zone both in types of work and in territory. For this reason, I need to respect the lingering effects of the downturn and pay attention to the business of my business. My family is a large one as it includes the families of my employees; all of us need to return to the earning capacity of years before. The 24/7 commitment of the race made the job of running my company impossible."
Republican Party of Olmsted County Co-chair Bruce Kaskubar said there are a couple of people considering running for the seat. College professor Mike Benson scored the endorsement for the House 30B seat and will challenge three-term incumbent Rep. Andy Welti of Plainview.
Former First District Republicans Chair Duane Quam has also announced he is seeking the endorsement for Rep. Randy Demmer's House seat 29A. Demmer announced earlier he would not seek re-election to the seat as he focuses on his congressional bid. Quam has set up a basic Web site. Quam is a senior engineer at IBM at lives in Byron. He will be competing with two other Republicans hoping to get the endorsement this weekend at the GOP District 29 Convention in Byron. They are Mantorville City Council member Chuck Bradford and Oronoco family nurse practitioner Kerry Stoick . No Democrats so far have announced they are running for the seat.
For more on local races and endorsements, check out today's story .