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Can Congressman Tim Walz Win The DFL Endorsement For Governor?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minnesota DFL and Republican conventions where the parties will endorse their candidates for governor are just five weeks away. Both conventions are expected to feature multiple rounds of balloting.

DFL candidates have a history of not abiding by the party's endorsement and taking their case to primary voters in August.

Congressman Tim Walz is viewed as the front runner for the Democratic nomination. He won the caucuses in February, and he has raised three times as much money as his DFL rivals, State Auditor Rebecca Otto and State Rep. Erin Murphy.

But going into the Rochester Convention, it's not clear if Walz can get 60 percent of the delegates. Walz is more conservative than many delegates and has changed his position on gun control. Right after the October shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people, Walz donated $18,000 of NRA contributions to a veterans groups, and announced he supports an assault weapons ban.

Walz  was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

"I reject the notion that it is one or the other," he told Esme Murphy. "Those folks out there who are responsible gun owners -- their hearts are breaking every time you see one of these shootings, whether it's in a school or whether it's in Las Vegas. And they want to figure out: is there a balance here? And I believe there is in Minnesota."

Walz said if he does not get the endorsement at the party convention in June, he will take his case to the voters in the August 14th primary -- and there is very recent precedent in the DFL for that. In 2010, Gov. Mark Dayton bypassed the convention altogether, won the August primary and ultimately won the race for governor.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Mike Augustyniak every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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