Tim Pawlenty won't seek endorsement at GOP convention

He'll focus his efforts on the Republican primary, he confirmed.
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Tim Pawlenty has decided against seeking the endorsement of the Minnesota Republican Party at next month's convention.

The former Minnesota governor is looking to return to the mansion in St. Paul in this November's elections, but faces a tough fight for the nomination from Republican rivals.

On Tuesday, he announced in a statement that he won't be seeking the endorsement of the Minnesota GOP at its convention in early June, saying it's because he entered the race so late.

Instead, he'll focus his efforts on winning the nomination at the Republican primaries in August, where party members will make the final decision on who will run for the GOP against the Democratic candidate.

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"When Tim entered the race just last month, he indicated that seeking the endorsement at the Republican party's convention in early June may not be realistic in light of his late entrance into the race," his spokesman Sam Winter said.

"Tim appreciates the convention delegates, but his late entry into the race effectively precluded a fair fight for endorsement at the convention.

"As a result, he has decided not to participate in the convention and instead will make his case directly to the broader and larger group of voters who will be participating in the Republican primary on Tuesday, August 14th."

The frontrunner for the endorsement at the June convention is former candidate Jeff Johnson, who won the straw poll of gubernatorial candidates at the Republican precinct caucuses back in February.

Pawlenty's office say it's "confident" the former governor will win the primary and be on the ballot in November.

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