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Gay senator gets
Republican endorsement

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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