Created: 04/07/2014 11:49 AM KAALtv.com
(ABC 6 News) - It was an energetic afternoon for local Republicans in Minnesota's First Congressional District.
It was their annual convention in Albert Lea and at it they endorsed Aaron Miller to run against Congressman Tim Walz.
"Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Aaron Miller and I ask for your support," he said during the beginning of the event.
He got the support he needed. Miller clinched the endorsement after a third ballot vote.
Lined up alongside him during his speech was a handful of young adults. He says Republicans have struggled with attracting young voters.
"We've reached out to young folks from the beginning of this campaign," said Miller
His message to young voters: Let's reduce college debt.
"If you're an average college student who has 29,000 dollars in debt when you graduate, I think the GOP needs to do a better job talking to young folks about being the party of opportunity," said Miller.
Miller has spent 20 years in southern Minnesota and lives in Byron with his family. He has around 27 years of military experience and 15 years in the healthcare industry.
"I think that's an important background experience as we look to repeal and replace Obamacare with free market principles."
The federal healthcare law was a huge driver in the discourse of many Republican candidates seeking endorsement for statewide offices.
"This election should be about bringing common sense back to Washington. We need more Minnesota in Washington and less Washington in Minnesota," said U.S. Senate candidate Julianne Ortman.
"Wages aren't increasing and expenses are going up, whether it's in housing or gas, energy, and now healthcare," said U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden.
Jim Hagedorn of Blue Earth and State Representative Mike Benson of Rochester fought for votes for the endorsement as well, but Miller eventually received a unanimous vote to clinch the endorsement.
"I'm excited about today, it's a great opportunity to bring us together and talk about core conservative principles as we move forward to the November election."