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Talking Points: Governor’s Race Appears To Be Wide Open

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While Mike McFadden may face very limited opposition in an August primary, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson will face three other Republicans in what promises to be a hotly contested primary in August.

Johnson may have decisively won the Republican nomination for governor, but he can hardly celebrate. He has to get ready for a tough primary in August. He will face former Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers and millionaire businessman Scott Honour, who both opted to skip the nominating convention. Johnson will also face former State Rep. Marty Seifert, who was booed at the convention when he announced he would run in the primary, too.

So while Republicans in the governor’s race will be battling each other for the next two months, Gov. Mark Dayton can sit back, solidify support and save his money for the general election. That gives Dayton a big advantage. Political Analyst and Professor Larry Jacobs appeared on the WCCO Sunday Morning show, saying the race is wide open.

“It certainly helps Dayton, I am sure Jeff Johnson would rather be in Mike McFadden’s shoes,” Jacobs said. “I think this is wide open. There is no doubt. As you said, there is a strong field. We are going to see some very good debates and a pretty healthy competition within the Republican party.”

Another problem with the August primary is timing. In August, most of us are not paying much attention to politics and enjoying summer getaways. Turnout is expected to be very low, with a relatively small number of voters making the final call on who gets to take on Gov. Dayton in November.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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