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Tags: royce white | minnesota | republicans | klobuchar

Minn. GOP Backs Former NBA Player Royce White for Senate

By    |   Sunday, 19 May 2024 09:23 AM EDT

Minnesota Republicans on Saturday endorsed former National Basketball Association player Royce White to challenge incumbent Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar for her seat, winning the endorsement with 67% of the vote on the party's first ballot.

White, who has never held political office, said that he felt "providence" after being introduced to the party's convention in St. Paul's RiverCentre through a video address by Steve Bannon, who has served as an adviser to former President Donald Trump, The Star Tribune reported.

During his victory speech, White, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2022 Republican primary seeking the nomination to challenge incumbent Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said that "the No. 1 problem in this country is money in politics" and that "the government is too big, and it's mostly corrupt."

He also pushed back in his victory speech against his campaign lacking funding. According to a federal campaign finance report filed Thursday, White's campaign has about $10,000 in cash, and Minnesota GOP officials acknowledged they had "reservations" about his funding.

"I have debt, personal debt," White said, telling how he learned after joining the NBA that its collective bargaining hearing did not cover mental health coverage.

Before he joined the Republican Party, White led Black Lives Matter protests in Minnesota in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

Delegate Channing Stowell commented that White "has kind of a Kennedyesque charisma to him."

"During the George Floyd riots, he gathered pastors together and led a march of upset Black people to the Federal Reserve, which is the heart of the issue," said Stowell.

Former naval intelligence officer Joe Fraser of Minnesota had appeared to be the odds-on favorite for the endorsement but a grassroots effort in recent weeks pushed White into the lead, and Saturday, White's posters were all over the convent center in St. Paul.

In his remarks, White presented a populist agenda, telling the audience that people "who tell you you're citizens of the whole world are lying to you. You're citizens of this country."

He also called Washington, D.C., the "swamp" and claimed that Klobuchar, a three-term senator, is "at the head of it, all this climate change and the LGBTQ."

White further chided Klobuchar's support for military funding for Ukraine and Israel, calling the conflicts there "forever wars."

Meanwhile, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., told the convention that the party was out of debt for the "first time in a decade," in remarks coming after a speech from Trump Friday night.

White acknowledged in his speech that a great deal of money will be needed to defeat Klobuchar, saying that political operatives will "dump a billion dollars" into her campaign if they feel he can attract Black and Latino voters in three of the state's counties.

The party's nominee won't be official until the Aug. 13 primary. A campaign staffer for Fraser said he has not decided if he will remain in the race.

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
Minnesota Republicans on Saturday endorsed former National Basketball Association player Royce White to challenge incumbent Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar for her seat, winning the endorsement with 67% of the vote on the party's first ballot.
royce white, minnesota, republicans, klobuchar
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2024-23-19
Sunday, 19 May 2024 09:23 AM
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