July 16th, 2010
05:50 AM ET
12 years ago

Pawlenty kicks off new online endorsement contest

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/06/art.pawlenty.0706t.gi.jpg caption=" Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will throw some extra political weight behind one Republican candidate."](CNN) - Tim Pawlenty's political action committee is launching a new online endorsement contest Friday, asking supporters to pick their favorite midterm candidate backed by the Minnesota governor.

It's the second such contest run by Pawlenty's "Freedom First" PAC, which was created last year to support Republican candidates and give the governor a chance to build a political operation as he mulls a possible presidential bid in 2012.

In May, Pawlenty supporters tapped Wisconsin House candidate Sean Duffy as their favorite PAC-endorsed Republican.

The winning candidate will get a campaign visit from the governor before Election Day along with the opportunity to co-host, with Pawlenty, a live Facebook town hall from the winner's district.

There's also a serious financial reward at stake: The winner will get fundraising help via Pawlenty's national email list, and the PAC will match every dollar donated to the winning candidate through the committee, up to the $5,000 limit.

"Tim Pawlenty is always looking for new and innovative ways to engage our grassroots supporters and grow our team online," said Pawlenty adviser Alex Conant. "There was a lot of competition between the campaigns in our previous contest, which Sean Duffy won shortly before his opponent retired. The governor's been meeting a lot of great candidates on his travels around the country, including his recent trip to South Carolina, and this is a fun way to give them some extra support."

The 13 PAC-endorsed candidates in the contest include Arkansas Senate hopeful John Boozman, Arkansas House candidate Rick Crawford, Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate Mary Fallin, Ohio gubernatorial candidate John Kasich, Ohio House candidate Jim Renacci, New Mexico gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez and Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio.

Six of the candidates are from South Carolina, a pivotal presidential primary state that Pawlenty recently visited for the first time.

Those Palmetto State candidates are Sen. Jim DeMint, gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley, and House candidates Jeff Duncan, Joe Wilson, Trey Gowdy and Tim Scott.

Filed under: 2010 • South Carolina • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    MN seems to have a lot of crazy politicians. this guy had his chance with mcnasty and he picked another lunatic.
    Put a fork in him.

    July 16, 2010 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  2. ramtruck2500

    WOW yet another out of state politician telling wisconsites what to do. We should be used to it because you get overflow from the corruption in Illinois all the time. This guy is a real nut bag and giving a visit from himself as a reward??? How about good ole Sean gets a reward from someone in the state he wants to represent? pawenty stay out of our politics! You have messed your own state up way beyond belief! just stay out!

    July 16, 2010 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  3. anthony

    How about a contest of Minnesotans talking about what Pawlenty has accomplished as Minnesota governor? Isn't that more useful information for the public, since it is certain that Pawlenty is running for president in 2012?

    July 16, 2010 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  4. Go USA!

    I wouldn't trust this buy with a broken weed wacker...."Freedom First" is just another conservatiuve organization created to hide the truth about the GOP. Tax cuts for the rich and big business. Our jobs shipped overseas, our tax dollars shipped overseas, our brave soldiers shipped overseas to an unnecessary war in Iraq...what short memories we have and what a tragedy it will be for the middle class of the United States and my children if the GOP gains power again.

    God help us if they do...

    July 16, 2010 08:06 am at 8:06 am |