Obama may rally at Northrop Mall

The rally for DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton is set for Oct. 23.

by James Nord

Update 6:40 p.m.: Dayton spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci said the the campaign has not yet confirmed a location for the rally. 

President Barack Obama will host a rally at Northrop Mall for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mark Dayton on Oct. 23, Students Organizing for America president Jeb Saelens said.

Saelens’ group, an organizing arm of the Obama administration, will help organize the event. The Dayton campaign could not confirm or deny the location of the visit at this time, spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci said. The campaign initially announced on Saturday that Obama would appear at a public rally in Minneapolis, but didn’t include a specific location then.

“ItâÄôll help energize our fellow Democrats,” Dayton said on Saturday of Obama’s visit to Minneapolis. “Any time the President of the United States comes to Minnesota âĦ ItâÄôs an honor for our state.”

The presidentâÄôs visit is the latest in a string of high-profile visits to the state by Democrats supporting Dayton, including Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton, beginning in mid-September.

The news didnâÄôt bother DaytonâÄôs Republican opponent Tom Emmer, who hosted a fundraiser with former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich Oct. 6.

“ThereâÄôs nothing to be afraid of when youâÄôre trying to share a message of a different vision for the future of this state,” Emmer said.

The Obama rally will begin a DFL voting campaign for a host of candidates across Minnesota including Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Attorney General Lori Swanson and State Auditor Rebecca Otto.

Obama was originally going to hold only a closed fundraiser, but recently agreed to the Dayton campaignâÄôs request for a public event, Dayton spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci said.

Obama last rallied in Minneapolis for health care reform in September 2009.