MN GOP Senate, MN Senate Race, Politics

MN GOP Endorses Former NBA Player Royce White for U.S. Senate

The former basketball star-turned-activist was introduced by former Trump advisor Steve Bannon. 
By ALEX DEROSIER Pioneer Press
The Minnesota Republican Party has endorsed former NBA basketball player and 5th Congressional District candidate Royce White to run against incumbent Amy Klobuchar for U.S. Senate.
Delegates to the state GOP convention in St. Paul on Saturday voted overwhelmingly in favor of White over political newcomer and Navy veteran Joe Fraser. Two-thirds of delegates backed White in the first round of voting.
White, a former athlete and Black Lives Matter activist turned right-wing media darling and Republican candidate, was introduced at the convention with an endorsement video from former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, whom he called a “dear friend.”
White, who played basketball for the University of Minnesota and Iowa State before being drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 16th overall pick of the 2012 NBA draft, was well known for his activism and criticisms of the NBA’s approach to mental health before becoming a populist Republican with ties to the conspiracy right.
White, who unsuccessfully ran in the 2022 Republican primary to challenge Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in 2022, is known for appearing on right-wing and conspiracy theory-promoting online media programs, like Alex Jones’ InfoWars and Steve Bannon’s War Room.
GOP delegates endorsing White is an important step toward gaining the nomination, but it’s not a guarantee. Candidates don’t always honor the state convention’s endorsement, as was the case in 2022 when attorney general candidate Doug Wardlow ran in the primary against GOP-endorsed Jim Schultz. The 2024 primary is Aug. 13
Fraser’s campaign couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on Saturday.
The Republican nominee will run against Klobuchar, who was elected in 2006 and comfortably won reelection in 2012 and 2018.
No Minnesota Republican has won statewide office since Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s 2006 reelection.