At the SD 47 GOP nominating convention last night, State Senator Julianne Ortman was not able to secure backing from 60% of the delegates after five ballots and did not earn endorsement. The Chaska Herald has coverage of how the balloting unfolded.
On the first ballot, Ortman earned 49% of the delegates, followed by Bruce Schwichtenberg at 32% and Kevin Masrud at 19%. Masrud dropped out at that point, throwing his support to Schwichtenberg. Following that change, Ortman’s vote total held steady at just over half the delegates. After five ballots, the delegates voted not to proceed with a sixth ballot.
The Herald reports indicate that the Ortman and Schwichtenberg campaigns were hitting each other hard with their literature. Schwichtenberg accused Ortman of supporting expanded sales taxes and cap-and-trade as well as being a supporter of former Carver County GOP Chair Paul Zunker, who was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in March. Ortman raised some issues in Schwichtenberg’s past, including a bankruptcy, tax issues, and a lengthy legal battle with Carver County over a septic system.
Despite the near-deadlock in the delegate count, Schwichtenberg has not committed to running in the primary.
The party also endorsed incumbent Representatives Ernie Leidiger (by acclimation) and Joe Hoppe (a first-ballot win over challenger Gary Heyer) at the convention.
[UPDATE]: Schwichtenberg announced today he will run in the primary.