Minnesota Governor’s Race
Republicans and Democrats are fanning out across the state for the final few days of fall campaigning. Top candidates for both political parties are making the final push for votes before Election Day on Tuesday.
Republican Jeff Johnson was never one for fiery, rally-the-troops rhetoric in the Minnesota House. He didn’t relish chances to antagonize the political opposition. And with some exceptions, the bills he sponsored during a six-year run were more heady than headline-grabbing.
The strength of Minnesota’s economy put Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican nominee Jeff Johnson at odds Wednesday night in an opening debate that also saw skirmishes over health care and transportation.
With just eight weeks left in the race for Minnesota governor, both parties are trying to cast the other’s nominee as too extreme: Republicans say Gov. Mark Dayton is beholden to labor unions, while Democrats are chastising Jeff Johnson as being a right-wing supporter of the tea party.
The Minnesota Fair marks the unofficial kick-off of the fall election campaigns. Both Governor Mark Dayton and his Republican challenger, Jeff Johnson, are making their case in person with fair goers.
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is estimating a low turnout for Tuesday’s statewide primary election. Out of 3.1 million Minnesota voters, only 10-15 percent will turn out, according to Ritchie.
Four of the last five Minnesota governors ran for office without the endorsement of the major Republican or Democratic parties. Including Mark Dayton In 2010, the Democrats partied inside their convention, and banned Mark Dayton from going inside.
Another Republican has provided details on his 2013 fundraising in the Minnesota governor’s race Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson told supporters in an email he collected $240,000 from donors, which is twice the amount a rival brought it. Earlier in the week, state Sen. Dave Thompson said he raised $120,000 last year. Johnson and Thompson are the two candidates competing hardest for the GOP endorsement at the May state convention. The other candidates in the running won’t rule out primary bids in August. The winner of that contest will take on Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton in November.
Election officials are keeping the 47-day slog through the ballots in Minnesota’s 2008 U.S. Senate race in mind as they prepare for their second statewide recount in as many years, but they’re optimistic the recount between Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer will go more quickly.