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Kennedy, Metsa forge ahead in 8th District

Kirsten Kennedy and Jason Metsa

State Rep. Jason Metsa and North Branch Mayor Kirsten Kennedy are not done yet in their bids to replace Rep. Rick Nolan in Congress.

On Sunday, both candidates said they will continue their campaigns, targeting the 8th Congressional District DFL primary election in August.

The candidates had fallen off the balloting at Saturday’s 8th District DFL Convention in Duluth. But the marathon convention failed to yield an endorsed candidate among Leah Phifer and Joe Radinovich after 10 rounds of balloting.

“With no result from the DFL endorsement process, I have chosen to continue my campaign to be the DFL nominee for Congress in #MN08,” Metsa said in a statement on Twitter early Sunday.

Upon failing to advance at the convention, Metsa thanked his volunteers and told the assembled delegates about his campaign, “Unfortunately, mine’s not moving forward.”

Kennedy posted a statement on Facebook late Sunday morning. “Given the result of 'no endorsement' in yesterday's DFL convention, I will continue my grassroots campaign to be the first Congresswoman from Minnesota's 8th Congressional District,” Kennedy said.

“My track record of running and winning as a progressive in a conservative district by bringing together DFLers, Republicans, and Independents will work to win this November, against the politics of hate and divisiveness that are invading our national discussion.”

Metsa and Kennedy rejoin Phifer, Radinovich and Michelle Lee as candidates vying for the primary.

“The best way to identify the strongest candidate to win in November is through a primary campaign,” Metsa said in his statement. “I look forward to running a robust grassroots campaign focused on our shared values of fairness and responsibility.”

The primary will be August 14.

Republican Pete Stauber and the Independence Party’s Ray “Skip” Sandman are their parties’ candidates for the November election.