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Crow Wing Republicans support Romney

Crow Wing County Republicans Wednesday expressed confidence Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will rally the conservative base in November.

Doug Kern, chair of the Crow Wing County Republican Party, said Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will help solidify right wing support.

“I think he’ll do very well, Kern said. “Hopefully, he’ll bring in conservatives and be the conservative he says he is. His running mate is energizing the party.”

Kern, 49, who said his personal first choice was Rick Santorum, said he’s looking for a conservative candidate and the selection of Ryan was a boost for Romney.

“I think it was making a statement that he needs conservatives, the chair said. “He showed it by picking Ryan.”

Herb Thiesse, a longtime Republican who formerly served on the Crow Wing County Board and served for 39 years on the Crow Wing Power board, said he thinks Romney will be OK.

“Any leader in this world today, needs to be a diplomat; diplomatic, firm and respectful,” Thiesse said.

Thiesse, 87, and a self-described conservative, said he’s not as active in the party as he was in previous years.

“At my age I’m kind of sitting on the sidelines,” he said.

David Allan Pundt, deputy chair of the Crow Wing County Republicans, said he was relatively new to being active in the GOP. Pundt was a radio journalist for many years until his retirement. In 2008 he ran for the Minnesota House as a Republican. He said his views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the county party organization.

“I think that Mitt Romney is one of those choices that is growing on people, getting more positive,” he said. “I think Mitt Romney is going to be a clear, positive, good step forward.”

Pundt, 66, said he thought there was a lack of “0bama-bashing” so far at the Republican National Convention.

The majority of the Minnesota delegation’s votes for the presidential nomination went to Ron Paul. Santorum was the winner of the Republican caucus poll in February.

MIKE O’ROURKE, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5860 or He may be followed at

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860