Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Nearly 1400 delegates are scheduled to converge on Rochester today for the start of the 2018 Minnesota DFL Party State Convention. It’s the first time the Democrats have brought their convention to the Mayo Civic Center since 2012.

It may not be a presidential election year, but the party delegates will be busy over the next three days endorsing candidates for both Minnesota U.S. Senate seats, the governor and the slate of constitutional offices that will appear on the November ballot.

Current First District Congressman Tim Walz will be among the candidates seeking his party’s backing in his campaign to succeed Governor Mark Dayton. His main competitors for the endorsement on Saturday are State Auditor Rebecca Otto and longtime State Representative Erin Murphy.

Senator Amy Klobuchar is not expected to face any challenges for re-election from within her own party and former Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith is the frontrunner for the endorsement to continue holding the Senate seat she was appointed to following the resignation of Al Franken. The Senate endorsements are scheduled on Friday evening.

The Republicans open their state convention today in Duluth with about 2200 delegates expected for a busy weekend of political speeches and endorsement votes.

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