Minnesota's conservative Republican Party shelved its reservations about Arne Carlson and backed him for governor in place of

Jon Grunseth, who quit the race because of sexual misconduct allegations.But the party's 14-member executive committee Tuesday left the question of Carlson's running mate to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

With only a week to go before the election, the committee voted unanimously to unite behind Carlson, even though many consider the state auditor too liberal, said party chairman Bob Weinholzer. Carlson supports abortion rights.

"We encourage all Republicans to support Arne Carlson," Weinholzer said.

Under the law, Carlson, as runner-up in the primary, would have become the GOP candidate anyway after Grunseth withdrew amid allegations he had an affair and swam nude with teenage girls. Grunseth has disputed the allegations.

Pressure also mounted on Carlson, who had jumped into the race last week as a write-in candidate, on who he would choose as his running mate for lieutenant governor.

Carlson wants Joanell Dyrstad, his running mate in the September primary. But Sharon Clark, who was Grunseth's running mate, has refused to step aside, saying she would ask the Supreme Court to decide the matter.