“Fantastic exercise in Democracy.” That’s how North Mankato state Senator Nick Frentz described Tuesday’s precinct caucuses, when party faithful from throughout the state and across the Mankato area will gather to make their feelings known about who should be Minnesota’s next governor – after Governor Mark Dayton decided not to run for reelection.

Both the Democratic-Farmer-Labor and Republican parties will conduct polls for governor that Frentz said will test early support for announced candidates.

On the DFL side, current 1st Congressional District Representative Tim Walz of Mankato had the lead in the most recent polls in the governor’s race. Also running on the Democratic ticket are former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman; seven term state Representative Tina Liebling of Rochester; former Minnesota House Minority Leader and St. Paul Representative Erin Murphy; State Auditor Rebecca Otto; and former state House Speaker Paul Thissen of Minneapolis.

Polls show that Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson has the lead among Republicans. Also in the GOP race are former Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Representative Keith Downy of Edina; Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens; and Kenyon school teacher Phillip Parish.

It’s also the start of the process of endorsing each party’s candidates for U.S. House and Senate, as well as state legislators and officials that include state auditor, secretary of state and attorney general as well. Those that haven’t yet decided will have the option of voting uncommitted or undecided.

Democratic Senator Frentz said it’s also a time when voters can weigh in on the party’s platform and priorities for the next legislature. Click on the link below to hear more with KTOE’s Annette Weston and the Senator about the caucuses.


Mankato Republicans will meet at Mankato West High School, while Democrats will meet at either Franklin Elementary School or Mankato East High School. Residents can find their specific polling locations on the Blue Earth County website, on the elections page.