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Four seek 7th Distsrict Republican House nomination

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Four seek 7th Distsrict Republican House nomination
Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

Republicans in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District gather Saturday in Moorhead to pick a nominee to challenge Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., from a slate of four candidates.

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The size of the field of candidates and large number of registrations to attend the convention both are barometers of an engaged GOP, party leaders said Thursday.

"Our registrations are three times as high as they usually are at this time for conventions," said Craig Bishop of Hutchinson, 7th District GOP chairman.

He expects between 300 and 350 delegates and alternates to gather for the convention. One of their most important tasks will be to select a challenger to try to unseat Peterson, first elected in 1990 and chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

The convention's Saturday schedule runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at AmericInn Lodge and Suites and Convention Center, 600 30th Ave. S., Moorhead.

The slate of candidates:

- Dr. Karen Nelson, a psychiatrist who has served eight years on the Spicer School Board.

- Melva Larson of Bagley, who works at the J.C. Penney store in Bemidji and served as a Beltrami County commissioner and legislative relations director for former Gov. Arne Carlson.

- Glen Menze, who lives on a farm near Starbuck, where he works as an accountant and business consultant. Menze was the party's nominee twice in failed bids to unseat Peterson.

- Lee Byberg, a business executive from Willmar, who is co-founder of a citizens group in Kandiyohi County to pursue what he describes as a "secure, sustainable, affordable and environmentally-balanced national energy policy."

"I think all four of them have a chance and are active candidates," said Dave Hallman, Moorhead, chairman of the Clay County Republican Party.

Because the nominee must get 60 percent of the vote, it's unlikely that a candidate will be chosen on the first ballot, he said.

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