Independence Party picks U’s Penny for governor’s race

by Paul Sand

The Minnesota Independence Party took a step toward establishing itself as more than just a flash in the pan Saturday as former Democratic Rep. Tim Penny accepted the party’s nomination for governor.

Speaking to the cheering crowd at St. Cloud State University’s Kim Ritchie Auditorium, Penny and running mate State Sen. Martha Robertson of Minnetonka promised to run a campaign with “no opinion polls, no focus groups, no political consultants and no special interest contributions.”

“Our campaign will not be driven by a desire to win at all costs,” Penny said.

Penny, a senior fellow and co-director of the University’s Humphrey Institute Policy Forum garnered 87 percent of the votes from the 177 convention delegates. His only opponent, business consultant Jim Haviland of Thief River Falls, Minn. pulled in 10 percent.

The delegation also nominated Jim Moore as the candidate for the U.S. Senate race against incumbent Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone and former St. Paul Mayor and Republican candidate Norm Coleman.

Moore, a commercial banker from Minneapolis, won by a wide margin, receiving 80 percent of the vote. His opponent, Alan Fine, Carlson School of Management professor and director of University Undergraduate Entrepreneurial Studies, attracted 13 percent.

Moore said he wants to give hope back to the large number of disaffected voters and citizens who feel special interest money controls politics.

“I believe the average working Minnesotan, the average working student and the average small and independent business owner who doesn’t have that kind of money to organize have lost their voice,” Moore said. “I want to give that voice back.”

Moore said he would like to bring his knowledge of the private sector into the public sector.

“I think we need to look at efficiency within the government before we look at raising taxes,” he said.

Other IP nominations included Dave Hutcheson for state auditor and Dean Alger for secretary of state. The delegates declined to vote on a nomination for attorney general.

Paul Sand welcomes comments at [email protected]