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Pawlenty to speak at N.D. GOP state convention

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be a keynote speaker during the North Dakota Republican Party state convention March 19-21, the party announced today.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, seen Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010, at a news conference. Forum Communications photo.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be a keynote speaker during the North Dakota Republican Party state convention March 19-21, the party announced today.

The Republican was first elected governor in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006. He announced last June that he would not seek re-election this year, but Pawlenty is currently considering a presidential run in 2012.

"Gov. Pawlenty is a true common sense conservative. It's a great honor to have a potential presidential candidate address our state convention," said North Dakota party chairman Gary Emineth in a written statement.

Pawlenty will speak March 21, the final day of the state convention. The event will officially nominate party candidates for state and local elections, and is being held at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., was announced last week as the convention's March 20 keynote speaker. Thune and Pawlenty are expected to speak between 9 and 11 a.m. March 20 and 21, respectively, but scheduling details are still being finalized.

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Adam Jones, the state party's executive director, told the Herald the two announcements make for "quite the lineup" this year.

"It's nice to see support from around the nation to get Republicans elected in North Dakota," he said. "We sought top-tier individuals to come and speak to the convention, and we got exactly what we sought, so we're thrilled."

Jones said he doesn't know exactly what Pawlenty will discuss, but has a good guess on one main topic.

"I assume it will be a very optimistic speech on where Republican leadership can take the country in the next few years," he said.

Johnson reports on local politics. Reach him at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 105; or send e-mail to rjohnson@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: JOHN THUNETIM PAWLENTY
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