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DFL presidential primary field is set

Minnesota Democrats will have 15 candidates to choose from on Super Tuesday primary ballot

Minnesota's Democrat Farmer Labor Party on Tuesday formally submitted its slate of candidates for the March 3 Super Tuesday presidential preference primary.

DFL voters will have 15 candidates to pick from in the state's first real presidential primary in decades. Those who met the party's requirements to get on the ballot are, in alphabetical order:

Michael Bennet, Joseph Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, John K. Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.

There's no write-in feature, but DFL primary voters will have a 16th choice: Uncommitted.

"Our intent was to be as inclusive as possible, which is why we had a fairly low threshold for getting on our ballot," DFL Party Chair Ken Martin told reporters Tuesday after filing the paperwork at the Secretary of State's elections counter.

He said candidates had to declare in writing in early autumn that they'd agree to the party's nominating process, and then formally request by December 10 to be on the ballot.

"We’re very fortunate to have so many great candidates seeking our party nomination. I think it’s great for our party, it will make us stronger in the end."

Martin pointed out that Minnesota Democrats will be the first in the nation to cast actual votes in the presidential primary season, because of the state's law requiring absentee voting to begin 46 days before an election.

In this election early absentee voting -- both in person and my mail -- will begin January 17. The ballot won't change, however, between now and March 3 regardless of who stays in the race or drops from contention.

By state law the names of primary voters must be provided to the political parties, but can't be made available to the general public or journalists. Martin said state Democratic parties are required by DNC rules to provide those names to the national party.

The election will be operated by state and local elections officials, but remains a party function just like the caucus system that's being replaced by the primary.

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The Minnesota Republican Party previously announced that President Trump would be the only candidate to appear on the GOP's presidential primary ballot on Super Tuesday.

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