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No surprise: Dayton, Franken endorsed for second terms

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Delegates endorsed Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken for second terms at the DFL Convention in Duluth over the weekend, as expected.

Because there weren't competitive endorsement races like at the GOP Convention in Rochester, Democrats applauded their accomplishments over the past two years, which include legalizing gay marriage and more recently, medical marijuana, as well as improvements in early childhood education and raising minimum wage, among other things.

In their speeches, candidates also stressed the importance of bringing Democratic voters out for the election this November – Republicans are expected to make gains across the country, the Associated Press says.

There was one race that was considered the only competitive race at the DFL Convention, but it ended before results of the first ballot were revealed, the Pioneer Press reports. State Rep. Steve Simon got the party's endorsement for secretary of state after his colleague, state Rep. Debra Hilstrom, bowed out of the race.

Attorney General Lori Swanson was endorsed for another term, as well as State Auditor Rebecca Otto, who, like Franken and Dayton, both ran unopposed.

Although this year's DFL Convention was a celebration of incumbent candidates, it wasn't without a little controversy, the Pioneer Press says. Delegates were lobbied to support or reject a "responsible mining" proposal to the party platform – but some delegates see it as coming too close to endorsing potential copper mining in northern Minnesota, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Dayton reaffirmed his position, saying he won't make a decision on mining until all impact studies were completed, while Franken said he believed Democrats on the Iron Range want sustainable mining, the Pioneer Press reports.

This will be a major conversation topic Sunday, the Duluth News Tribune notes, because the party platform is the only major item remaining on the DFL's agenda.

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