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Editorial: GOP looks to get a leg up

The DFL now has an endorsed candidate for Minnesota governor, but there's a long road ahead for Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

Kelliher, the Minnesota House Speaker, emerged victorious Saturday night at the DFL Convention in Duluth when her closest rival, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, conceded after the sixth ballot. Should Kelliher eventually be elected in November, she would be the first woman governor in state history -- a fact she has noted frequently.

Now come more challenges. The August primary election will likely include competition from well-financed DFL candidates Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza, who each declined to take part in last weekend's party endorsement process. (Dayton, incidentally, made some minor waves when he complained about not getting a pass onto the convention floor.) We foresee Kelliher as the primary winner, but the bigger question may be: At what cost?

Republicans, it appears, will have at least some advantage following their convention this coming weekend. After the party faithful selects either Marty Seifert or Tom Emmer -- whose battle has grown testy in recent days -- as their gubernatorial candidate, the focus will be on getting a head start on convincing voters why the outgoing Tim Pawlenty should be succeeded by another Republican. That's a head start for the GOP over the Democrats, who will have not a final resolution on their candidate for two and a half months.

In the unpredictable realm of politics, that amount of time may seem interminable to DFLers, depending on just how heated their three-way showdown is.