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ST. PAUL -- Republican governor candidate Tom Emmer picked a political insider, little known to the public, as his running mate three days before the state party is to endorse a candidate.


Annette Meeks runs a conservative think tank known as Freedom Foundation of Minnesota. For nine years she was at the Center of the American Experiment.

Emmer, a state representative from Delano, is locked in what most observers describe as a tight battle with fellow state Rep. Marty Seifert of Marshall for the party endorsement. Seifert already picked a Twin Cities' suburban county commissioner as his lieutenant governor candidate.

Meeks is a behind-the-scenes political worker, although she has regularly appeared as a political analyst on a Twin Cities television show.