ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An outside political group’s new television ad promotes Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Honour as having the toughest stance against the nation’s new health care law.

The ad starting Wednesday is the first major outside group television commercial of the governor’s race and likely a sign of more involvement to come.

Compete Minnesota, a well-funded group airing it, aims to lift up Honour in a crowded GOP field by focusing on an important issue for the party’s primary voters. Honour is a businessman making his first run for office and is seeking the GOP nomination against Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

The ad highlights Honour’s public goal of ending Minnesota’s wobbly health insurance exchange in favor of one managed by the federal government. He has said that fixing the state version is a waste of taxpayer money.

“Only Honour wants to scrap the whole program,” the ad says, ending with a call to action, “Tell Scott Honour to keep fighting to repeal Obamacare.”

Public records show the initial ad buy is about $23,000.

Compete Minnesota was formed last year and has been largely funded by a California executive at the investment company where Honour formerly worked. The main donor, Alec Gores, and Honour helped run The Gores Group.

The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a Democratic group that aided Dayton in his last campaign, drew on the association of Compete Minnesota and Honour to a company that specializes in mergers and acquisitions.

“Minnesota deserves better than corporate-funded candidates,” the alliance’s Joe Davis said.

Dayton has not aired any ads so far in his re-election campaign.

Two other Republican candidates, Marty Seifert and Jeff Johnson, have made small TV ad purchases in the race.

Johnson rolled out his ad Tuesday.

The 30-second spot shows the Hennepin County commissioner teaching his son to drive and equates it to a white-knuckle ride under Dayton’s tenure. “Thanks for the ride governor, but it’s time for a new direction,” Johnson said.

The GOP won’t settle on a single challenger until an August primary. Other Republican contenders in the race are Rep. Kurt Zellers and Sen. Dave Thompson.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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