Reporting Pat Kessler
ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A conservative Minnesota State Senator is the latest candidate to jump into the 2014 race for governor. Lakeville Republican Dave Thompson officially entered the race Wednesday promising, as governor, to “get out of the way” of business.
There are now four Republicans in the race. If Thompson’s name sounds familiar, yes, he’s that Dave Thompson — a former talk radio host and now Minnesota State Senator who has risen quickly through the political ranks at the Capitol.
Thompson made his name as an unapologetic conservative with a libertarian twist, promising to bring those principles to the governor’s office.
“I’m a true blue Minnesotan and a true blue American,” he said. “I believe that within every person resides the seeds of greatness and I think as your governor, my goal will be to get out of your way.”
Thompson proposes a school voucher-like tax credit system. He’d sign a Right to Work law in Minnesota, but said he’s not anti-union.
And he blames Democrats for high taxes and spending — promising cutbacks.
“You folks that are out there paying the taxes? Paying the bill for government were treated like an ATM machine. And that’s just not right,” he said.
The growing GOP candidate list now includes Thompson, former House Speaker Kurt Zellers, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson and Orono businessman Scott Honour.
Dayton said he’s not even thinking about 2014.
“Everyone has a right to run,” Dayton said. “I am going to focus on the job that I have committed to.”
Like Gov. Jesse Ventura before him, Thompson is a former talk radio host.
He expects controversial radio remarks to be used against him but he said nothing will change.
“The nice thing for me is I really am kind of what I am,” he said. “And I really said the same stuff on talk radio that I say now. There’s a reason for that. I believe it.”
One thing that Sen. Thompson said he won’t change if elected — Minnesota’s new same sex marriage law.
After the legislature voted in May, and the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, Thompson said, “The people have spoken.”