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Emmer rallies Republicans in Willmar

Rep. Tom Emmer speaks with Fern Fraunhofer, left and Evie Paulson at a Republican rally Wednesday in Willmar. GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer and U.S. representative candidate Lee Byberg meet with local supporters Wednesday at the former Wendy's building in Willmar.

WILLMAR -- Rolling into town Wednesday morning on a tour bus that features a large photograph of himself, Tom Emmer led a rally in Willmar to encourage party faithful to support his campaign and the campaigns of other Willmar residents who are running for state and federal offices.

"Show up," Emmer told the crowd of about 60 people who cheered Emmer during a campaign stop at the Kandiyohi County party headquarters.

Emmer said candidates like Sen. Joe Gimse and Bruce Vogel, who are running for the state legislature, and Lee Byberg who's running for Congress, need the "time, talent and treasures" of party members to turn their campaigns into wins in November.

Like the pep-talks he's given in locker rooms to athletes, Emmer encouraged the candidates to keep the pressure on.

"You just keep working your tail off," Emmer told Vogel, who's running against Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar. "He's feeling your breath."

Emmer said Byberg has come "out of nowhere" and is now "on your way to victory."

He said Gimse is a "real representative in St. Paul" who stands in stark contrast to his opponent who wants a bigger government.

Even though the latest poll has Emmer 11 points behind Mark Dayton, Emmer said he has the momentum that will put him at the top of the only poll that matters - the election booth on Nov. 2.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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