U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been enthusiastically endorsed for a second term by Democratic party activists gathered in Rochester for their state party convention.
Klobuchar's endorsement by acclamation took mere moments Saturday. She then made her way through the Mayo Civic Center hall shaking hands, giving hugs and signing autographs.
Klobuchar is promising to "continue to fight for what's right" and says she will "always, always put Minnesota first."
She faces a little-known opponent, Republican state Rep. Kurt Bills, a high school economics teacher allied with libertarian-leaning presidential contender Ron Paul. She won her first race with a commanding 58 percent of the vote and has raised more than $5 million this time.
Gov. Mark Dayton also spoke at the event, urging Democratic activists to focus on overturning Republican rule of the Minnesota Legislature in November's elections.
The first-term governor spoke to about 2,700 activists, thanking them for letting him in. Two years ago he was barred as a primary challenger to the party's endorsed candidate.
Dayton won that primary and became the state's first Democratic governor in 20 years.
He is seeking legislative majorities that will support his push to raise income taxes on the highest earners.
Dayton says continued GOP control of the Legislature will result in more gridlock. He has two-and-a-half years left in his term.