Gay senator gets
Republican endorsement

Minnesota state
senator Paul Koering, a Republican who announced last
year that he is gay, received his party's endorsement for
reelection after seven ballots. Koering beat
challenger Kevin Goedker on Tuesday night with a final
vote of 63–42, above the 60% threshold needed for
endorsement. "I'm very, very happy, very honored to win the
endorsement," Koering said.

Goedker, a member
of the Brainerd city council, said he hasn't decided
whether to push his campaign to a September primary. After
several close votes and a move to withhold
endorsement from either candidate, Koering told
delegates he planned to run in a primary with or without
their backing. "I spent seven years of my life to get this
job, and now I just lay over and die? I'm running for
office," Koering said.

Koering won the
senate district 12 seat in 2002 by topping longtime
senator Don Samuelson by 143 votes. Samuelson had beat
Koering twice before. Koering disclosed that he is gay
last April, around the time he joined Democrats in
defeating a move to force a vote on a constitutional
amendment banning same-sex marriage. Nine senators,
including senate minority leader Dick Day, joined
Koering at the endorsing convention in a show of
support. (AP)

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