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Dr. Scott Jensen wins GOP endorsement for Minnesota governor FILE - Dr. Scott Jensen, shown at his Watertown, Minn., clinic on Sept. 22, 2021, is a family physician now running for governor. Campaign finance reports show that Democratic Gov. Tim Walz has $4.1 million in the bank for his re-election campaign. Meanwhile, Dr. Scott Jensen and Sen. Paul Gazelka are the money leaders among candidates seeking the Republican endorsement for governor.(AP Photo/Jim Mone, FILE)

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — Dr. Scott Jensen, a skeptic of the government’s response to COVID-19, has won the Minnesota GOP’s endorsement to challenge Democratic Gov. Tim Walz in the November election.

After a wild ride, Jensen went over the top on the ninth ballot with 65% of the vote. Jensen led on the first two ballots, then regained the lead on the seventh ballot. Jensen’s comeback ended a surge by business executive Kendall Qualls, who fell to 33% on the final ballot after taking the lead on the fourth.

Minnesota GOP Chairman David Hann says he does not expect Jensen to face a serious challenge in the Aug. 9 primary.

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